New Delhi: After denying reports that it had shown any interest in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Russia has not only fully backed the project, but also plans to link it with its own Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) project.
According to a report, the U-turn made by Russia has alarmed Indian policymakers, who have sought to isolate Pakistan on the issue of terrorism.
CPEC, which will link Gwadar in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province to Xinjiang in China, remains a major problem for Indian foreign policy as it passes through the Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Beijing on the other hand has shown scant regard for India’s concerns despite PM Narendra Modi himself having taken up the issue with Xi Jinping.
Moscow last month emphatically denied Pakistan media reports that it was looking to involve itself in CPEC, said the report. But Russia’s ambassador to Pakistan has now said that Russia and Pakistan have held discussions to merge the Eurasian Economic Union project with the CPEC.
Alexey Dedov said Russia strongly supported the CPEC, as it was important for Pakistan’s economy and also regional connectivity.
Strategic affairs experts say that Moscow may no longer see India as a reliable friend and partner, and is challenging India’s core interests by making common cause with its enemies in the north.
India continues to officially maintain that it doesn’t see any “downward trend” in relations with Russia, said the report. But Delhi and Moscow are not seeing eye to eye on Afghanistan. While Russia wants to use the Taliban to defeat Islamic State (ISIS) in the region, India wants any engagement with Taliban to respect the internationally recognized red lines, including giving up violence and severing ties with al-Qaeda.
Earlier this year, India was disturbed by Russia’s de
Washington: In yet another swipe at China, President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday said the US should let the Communist giant keep the Navy’s unmanned underwater drone after Beijing agreed to return in an “appropriate manner” the device it had seized in the disputed South China Sea.
“We should tell China that we don’t want the drone they stole back — let them keep it!” Mr Trump tweeted, hours after Pentagon announced it had reached an understanding with China for the return of the drone.
The Pentagon had alleged that the drone was unlawfully seized by China on December 15 in the SCS while it was being recovered by a US Navy oceanographic survey ship.
The US lodged a formal diplomatic complaint and demanded the drone back. The incident is among the most serious military confrontations between the two powers for decades.
China on Saturday slammed the US for “making a fuss” over the seizure of its underwater drone and said it would return the device in an “appropriate manner”.
Defence Ministry spokesperson Senior Colonel Yang Yujun dismissed the US allegations, insisting that China seized the underwater glider to ensure the safe navigation of passing ships.
Mr Trump’s latest tweet was the second time the President-elect blasted China for the seizure. Earlier, he accused China of stealing American drone.
“China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters —rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented (sic) act,” Mr Trump tweeted.
Mr Trump has repeatedly infuriated China in recent weeks, questioning the US policy on Taiwan, making phone call to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and calling Beijing a currency manipulator.
The drone incident, the latest encounter in international waters in the South China Sea region, occurred earlier this week about 161 km off the Philippine port at Subic Bay.
The USNS Bowditch had stopped in the water to pick up two underwater drones. At that point, a Chinese naval ship that had been shadowing the Bowditch put a small boat into the water. That small boat came up alongside and the Chinese crew took one of the drones.
The US got no answer from the Chinese on the radio when it said the drone was American property, a US defense official was quoted as saying by the CNN.
As they turned away, the Chinese did come up on the radio and indicated they were returning to their own operations.
US oceanographic research vessels are often followed in the water under the assumption they are spying.
Although it is unclear what the motivation was for the Chinese action, the seizing of the drone comes on the heels of other provocative incidents that have happened since Mr Trump received a congratulatory call from Taiwan’s President, a violation of the US’s agreement with China’s “One China policy”.cision to hold its first ever joint military exercise with Pakistan days after Uri terror strike which left 19 Indian soldiers dead.
Then at the Brics Goa summit in October, Russia chose not to help India publicly name Pakistan-based terrorist outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in the official declaration, given Chinese resistance.
Russia continues to insist that its ties with Pakistan will not come at India’s cost. However, it contends that since India moved closer to the United States over the last few years, it should not complain about Russian cooperation with Pakistan