Because the Russian-Indian special partnership is strategic, it is constantly growing in new directions, with implications for both China and the USA.
Every time the leaders of India and Russia huddle together, something fresh and geo-politically significant emerges.
Narendra Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit the mineral-rich Far Eastern city of Vladivostok in Russia, signalling the arrival of a new player on the Pacific coast.
Modi’s presence in Vladivostok, beside a large contingent of Indian business entrepreneurs, is a massive boost to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s ‘pivot to Asia’ policy.
Getting India in, as a balancing factor in Siberia and the Far East, is a shrewd maneuver against over-dependence on the biggest power of Asia, China.
Stung by Western economic sanctions and liberal attacks on Russia’s domestic and foreign policies, Putin has much to gain from bringing India into Siberia and the Far East.
One of the highlights of the Modi-Putin summit this year is the agreement to develop a full-fledged maritime route from the southern Indian port of Chennai all the way up to Vladivostok.
Once implemented, this direct route through the Pacific would reduce the cargo transfer time from the present 40 days from India to the Far East via the Suez Canal and Europe to just 24 days.
India’s oil, gold, diamond and lumber wood companies, which are eyeing deals in Russia’s Far East, can save on time and transportation costs if this link is activated.
Given the promising prospects of the Northern Sea Route that would connect the Russian Far East to Europe via the Arctic Ocean, India could ultimately find solutions to its rising demand for energy and commodities with Russia as its anchor.
Russia has committed to beefing up the strength of its Pacific fleet in the future, which India will cheer on so that the Russian navy can help ensure that the Indo-Pacific is free of monopoly or hegemony of any single country.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2019.