Russia’s Support Of CPEC Keeps India On Tenterhooks

The Russia’s Ambassador to Pakistan Alexey Y Dedov said that Russia and Pakistan have held discussions to link Moscow’s Eurasian Economic Union project with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

However, as Times of India reports, the Russia’s public position on its growing ties with Pakistan continues to give sleepless nights to Indian policymakers who are making but so far unfruitful efforts to isolate Pakistan and deprive it from economic prosperity and regional connectivity.

The Russiaia ambassador’s statement regarding the support of the CPEC has further disturbed the Indian government over the growing relations between the two countries as Times of India quoting Alexey Y Dedov stated, “Russia strongly supported CPEC as it was important for Pakistan’s economy and also regional connectivity”.

Moscow has officially declared its support for CPEC and also announced its intention to link its own Eurasian Economic Union project with the CPEC.

The CPEC will link Gwadar in Pakistan’s Balochistan province to Xinjiang in China, remains a major bugbear for Indian foreign policy as it passes through the Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan which India claims as part of the occupied Kashmir.

Dedov pointed out that CPEC is a component of China’s Silk Road and his country was also working on a similar Eurasian Economic Union project. He added that China and Russia are holding discussions to merge the two projects.

Times of India also reported that Beijing has shown scant regard for India’s concerns despite PM Narendra Modi himself having taken up the issue of Chinese involvement in the occupied territory with President Xi Jinping. The mixed signals emanating from Moscow, as strategic affairs expert Brahma Chellaney said, are injecting uncertainty in the direction of the Russia-India relationship.

This approach shows as if Moscow no longer sees India as a reliable friend or partner. Indeed, by seeking common cause with India’s regional adversaries – including by supporting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor- Russia is challenging India’s core interest,” Chellaney said.

The report also added that the comments made by Dedov are only the latest in a series of Russian doublespeak on Pakistan this year. As it officially conveyed to Moscow, India was disturbed by Russia’s decision to hold its first ever joint military exercise with Pakistan days after Uri terror strike. The Russians justified it by saying that the exercise was meant to help Pakistan deal with terrorism.

Asked about the Russia-Pakistan military exercise though, at the recent Heart of Asia conference, Russia’s presidential envoy to Pakistan Zamir Kabulov reportedly said that Moscow didn’t complain about India’s close cooperation with the US and so India also shouldn’t complain about “much low level” of cooperation between Russia and Pakistan.

APP/taj/gar

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