Russian support to China-Pak corridor worries India: Report

Russia’s growing ties with Pakistan has become a concern for Indian policymakers who have been trying to isolate Islamabad on the issue of terrorism.
Russian support to China-Pak corridor worries...
India TV News Desk New Delhi December 19, 2016 7:58 IST

Russia’s growing ties with Pakistan has become a concern for Indian policymakers who have been trying to isolate Islamabad on the issue of terrorism. 

According to a Times of India report, Moscow, which earlier officially denied reports that it had shown any interest in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has not just declared strong support for the project but also announced its intention to link its own Eurasian Economic Union Project with CPEC.

The CPEC is already a major concern for India as the corridor which will link Gwadar in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province to Xinjiang in China passes through the Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) claimed by India. 

On the other hand, Beijing has shown negligible concern for India’s apprehension despite PM Narendra Modi himself having taken up the issue of China’s involvement in the disputed territory with President XI Jinping. 

Last month, Russia had denied Pakistani media reports that it was looking to involve itself in CPEC by acquiring access to the port built by China at Gwadar. 

But now, Russia’s ambassador to Pakistan Alexey Y Dedov has now been quoted as saying that Russia and Pakistan have held discussions to merge Moscow’s Eurasian Economic Union Project with the CPEC. 

According to the report, Dedov said that Russia strongly supported CPEC as the project is important for Pakistan’s economy and regional connectivity. 

Strategic affairs expert Brahma Chellaney said that the mixed signals from Moscow over the CPEC are affecting the long and stable relationship of Russia and India. 

“It is 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 through internationally disputed territory and engaging with the Pakistan-backed Taliban — Russia is challenging India's core interests,” Times of India quoted Chellaney as saying. 

On the other hand, despite continuing to convince Moscow over the fact that Pakistan has been promoting terrorism in the region, India continues to officially maintain that it doesn’t see any “downward trend” in relations with Russia. 

Earlier in October, Russia, at the Brics Goa Summit, Russia chose not to help India publicly name Pakistan-based terrorist outfits like Lashkar and Jaish in the official declaration in the face of Chinese resistance. 

Moreover, Russia continues to insist that its ties with Pakistan will not come at India’s cost.  

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