India will be on a slippery slope once it agrees to discuss with the US its defence relationship with Russia on a case-by-case basis. It will be an affront to India’s sovereignty and self-respect to allow the US to have a say in its relations with Russia.
Author: M. K. BHADRAKUMAR
Clearly, a closer coordination between Russia and China in a concerted strategy to push back at the US was expected to be a key topic at the consultations in Moscow last week. The point is, the quasi-alliance between Russia and China cannot be belittled as ‘geopolitical signaling’ anymore.
In northeastern Syria, which is dominated by the Kurdish militia, there are new stirrings. The situation on Syria’s southern border has calmed down. These substantial achievements and the fact that Syrian government has become more stable and is in greater control will give impetus to the efforts at finding a political solution to the conflict.
The point is, US patience with Turkey seems to be wearing thin. Turkey is no longer a ‘swing’ state in the US’ Middle East strategies, given the poor state of Turkish-Israeli relations, Erdogan’s ‘pivot to Russia’ and the overall trust deficit in Turkish-American relationship.
Khamenei’s speech makes it clear that in the pursuit of national interest, Iran will have to navigate its path on its own steam, as has been the case during its past 4-decade old history. The diplomacy will be supple but purposive (“wise and oriented”).
The Israeli bravado can only be seen as a desperate ploy to cover up its humiliating defeat in Syria with the terrorist groups that were its proxies surrendering lock, stock and barrel in Daraa and Quneitra to the Syrian-Russian forces – especially the hasty exfiltration of the controversial group known as the White Helmets to Jordan via Golan Heights with the logistical help from the Israeli military.
Trump has repeatedly stressed that Russia and the US are the two biggest nuclear powers in the world, and thus the US must live in peace with Russia. On US-Russia relations, Trump is clearheaded. On the contrary, if the US is piling pressure on China today, it is because China, although an economic giant, is still a weak military power.
Trust Russian diplomacy to work on an approach that somehow connects the various dots in the jigsaw puzzle – Iran nuclear deal, sanctions against Iran, Syrian conflict, Israel-Iran tensions, US-Iran standoff, energy security and so on. The point is, Russia is uniquely placed – on talking terms with both the US and Israel on one side and Iran and Syria on the other side.
Given the massive shift in the distribution of power taking place today in the direction of a multipolar world order, India can be expected to take a renewed interest in the BRICS and RIC forums. However, it is the SCO, which provides a unique platform for India to restructure its relations with China and Pakistan.
Erdogan will continue to pursue the ‘pivot to the East’ both for balancing his troubled relationship with the West as well as in intrinsic terms. To be sure, what began as an entente with Russia over the situation in northern Syria has already broadened into a full-bodied partnership between the two countries, especially in the economic sphere.
Macron might have extracted much more out of the state visit than his host could. The much talked about “bromance” between Trump and Macron all but turned out to be a case of “tough love.” Macron probably got close enough to Trump to say some mean things that he wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.
Is there an exit door available for Trump? Yes, there is. The US Defence Secretary James Mattis said that the work to assess the intelligence on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Douma is still in progress.