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“India-Russia Ties Acquire Global Scrutiny But Why Should Delhi Turn A Friend To An Adversary?”

The optica and outcomes of the Modi-Putin annual Summit. Ambassador Pankaj Saran analyses the visit in this interview.


Modi-Putin Summit
“Everything that has happened on PM Narendra Modi’s Russia visit is exactly what has happened in past summits. So, in a sense, there’s nothing extraordinary at all about the visit. It has attracted attention at the NATO Summit. But, are we supposed to stop our foreign policy interactions because it’s NATO’s 75th anniversary?” Ambassador Pankaj Saran says on ‘The Gist’ with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi. Ambassador Pankaj Saran has served as India’s Deputy National Security Adviser. He’s a current member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB). An Ex-Envoy to Russia. And is currently Convenor of NatStrat.

PM on Russia-Ukraine Conflict

“Here is a country with the ability to talk to all parties,” Ambassador Saran says. “To basically counsel them that they need to de-escalate”. And above all, tell them “they need to return to the negotiating table.” On intense international scrutiny of the annual Putin-Modi Summit, the ex-envoy points out, “We have had our land under occupation of the Chinese or by the Pakistanis. And we’ve seen Western leaders go to Beijing or to Islamabad. (French President) Macron or (German Chancellor) Scholtz or the Americans visited Beijing in the last one year, when China is sitting on occupied territory. Why should India play an extremely risky game of converting a friend into an adversary? I don’t see any country in the world doing that. I don’t see why we should do it”.

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India-Russia-China Dynamics

Ambassador Pankaj Saran emphatically asks, “Who has a stake to see a deterioration of the India-Russia relationship? Clearly, the West would like ties to atrophy. To weaken. To somehow get disrupted. But, the other party which is equally interested in this outcome is the Chinese. So you are in this ironical and paradoxical situation. Both Washington and Beijing have, for their own very different reasons, an interest in the weakening of the India- Russia relationship. But, the maintenance of the relationship is vital for both Russia and India.”

The Former Deputy NSA also discusses:

  • The dynamic between Russia, India and China.
  • A spurt in India buying Russian petroleum products.
  • The next stage of nuclear energy cooperation.
  • The bilateral trade target of $ 10illion by 2030.
  • Trade imbalance and payment mechanisms in national currencies.
  • Connectivity from the Arctic circle, the Vladivostok-Chennai sea corridor, & the INSTC.
  • Military supplies, spares and atmanirbharta.
  • Indians ‘tricked’ into serving in the Russian military in the Ukraine war.
  • And how Russia sees itself on the global stage when the U.S. is in election mode and there’s a possibility of Donald Trump’s return.
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The 'Eye' of the story not the 'I' of the story. That's Amitabh Pashupati Revi's credo from the beginning of his professional journey in 1995. From conflicts in the war zones of Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq to nuances of international politics in the Maldives,Thailand, and South Sudan, Amitabh has reported from all the world's continents, except for Antarctica(so far). Though, he has documented the world's third pole, the Siachen Glacier!
Amitabh reports and produces documentaries on the two-front China-Pakistan threat to India. His ground reports from Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh have received viewership in the hundreds of thousands. Amitabh has interviewed world leaders, top global analysts, and experts in India, Russia, the United States, and Australia as well. Along the way, he’s picked up the Russian language, the Ramnath Goenka Award for his reporting on the 'Islamic State' terrorist group in Iraq, the Khaled Alkhateb Award for his reporting from Palmyra, Syria, and the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Distinguished Journalist Fellowship. Last but not least, as a founder member of StratNews Global, Amitabh helps lead the reporting, editorial, production, and administration teams at StratNews Global, BharatShakti, and InterStellar on their journey ahead.