NEW DELHI: Russia’s 25-year deal for a Sudanese port on the Red Sea is a “great place to give historic ties with India a little more meat on the skeleton,” says Maxim A. Suchkov, Senior Fellow and Associate Professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University). This week, Russia announced an agreement to build a naval base and logistics centre in Sudan capable of berthing nuclear-powered vessels. Professor Suchkov, a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute tells StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi, he feels it “makes sense for both Moscow and Delhi to cooperate” on the Sudanese port front once a bilateral logistics pact is signed. Roman Babushkin, Russia’s Deputy Chief of Mission in India had told StratNews Global in September (https://stratnewsglobal.com/india-china-talks-encouraging-happy-both-used-the-moscow-platform-russian-deputy-chief-of-mission-roman-babushkin/.) that the two countries are almost certain to sign a military logistics pact when the next summit between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes place. India has already inked similar bilateral deals with six countries, (Japan, the United States, France, Singapore, South Korea and Australia) which allows the military exchange of supplies and services on a reciprocal basis.
“It makes sense for Russia to give a little more appreciation for the genuinely Indian idea of the Indo-Pacific,” the scholar and foreign policy analyst says, in contrast to “the primarily American concept.” Watch this interview as Professor Suchkov, who tweets with the handle @m_suchkov, describes the current Russia-China partnership as “not always together but never against each other”. But with Beijing as a “power that is striving for more power, regionally and globally, the relationship might become a little more thorny,” he adds.