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Moscow makes a move when US loosens the noose

Jul 7, 2014
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When US President Obama was attracting Islamabad’s criticism for his remarks on terror, predicting ‘decades of instability’ in its longtime ally, Russian Army Chief General Oleg Salyukov approved holding military exercises with Pakistan codenamed Indestructible Brotherhood.

The first ever Russian-Pakistani special war-games in mountainous terrain are one of the seven international exercises planned by the Kremlin for 2016. A Russian military-technical cooperation team has just concluded its visit to Pakistan.


Russian Army to hold first mountain drills with Pakistan in 2016


Strengthening military-to-military relations

After overruling Indian objections against sale of four Mi-Hind gunship helicopters to Pakistan last year, Russia will now directly export Klimov RD-93 engines. Besides enhancing the capability of JF-17 Thunder jets, the engine’s direct import will earn the fighter jet greater confidence from foreign costumers.

Meanwhile, the order for the Russian gunship is likely to be jacketed up to 20 helicopters. The next test case for Moscow will be Pakistan’s desire to buy Su-35 fighter jets, which it’s delivering to China this year.

For Pakistan, Russia is an alternate source of sophisticated military weaponry. It hopes that Russian military transactions won’t come with political strings, Putin’s ambition for global leadership notwithstanding.

Though Pakistan is not Russia’s strategic partner, the relationship has improved after a decade of diplomatic efforts. In recent years, Washington has taken over Moscow to become Delhi’s top defense supplier. Partly for the same reason, Prime Minister Modi could not win Russian nod over purchase of fifth generation fighter jet, T-50 Pak-FA, during his tour in December. Amid heightened tensions with the west, Moscow wants to be sole operator of the latest stealth fighter. Alternatively, India might be buying F-35 lightning II.


Pakistan’s tricky foreign policy balancing act


Exposing hidden agendas

The Kremlin has neither forgotten Afghanistan nor the role Pakistan played in frustrating its ambitions. While it occupies east Ukraine and brutally bombs anti-Assad Syrians, armed or civilians alike, it is pursuing a more Machiavellian approach to Pakistan and Afghanistan. For now, Moscow seeks stability in both the countries. It has lauded Pakistani effort to curb extremism and to end insurgency in Afghanistan.

In pursuit of renewed quest for geopolitical dominance, Russia is bidding to win newer allies and markets. Faced with lower-than-expected oil prices and Western economic sanctions, the Russian ruble has nosedived to 78 against the US dollar. Countries like Pakistan, Iran, Egypt and Algeria have a multi-pronged approach for the Kremlin.

Besides selling high-tech defense hardware, Moscow is exploiting its advances in the energy sector too. For starters, Russia will be laying a $2-$2.5 billion gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore. Rostekh Corporation will start building the pipeline next year.

A statistical look into Pakistan’s foreign friendships

Islamabad is also currently working to finalise a free trade agreement (FTA) with Russia. The success of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor may lead to a long envisaged transit trade agreement with Eurasian states. Pakistan has been aiming for a FTA with the Eurasian Economic Union. Russia and Pakistan have yet to sign an FTA, which was agreed earlier.

For all the right reasons, there is a lesser degree of warmth amongst members of the Pakistani business community. Recent economic sanctions against Turkey for opposing Putin’s policy towards Syria hint at Russia’s brinkmanship.

Setting the stage for continuing relations

Pakistan has so far treaded a fine line in its advances towards Russia. It has avoided commenting on the Russian annexation of Crimea. Islamabad has also exercised caution on Russian military intervention in Syria and resulting tensions with Turkey.

‘No reason’ for Russia to view US as threat: Pentagon

Russia and Pakistan neither share strategic partners, with the exception of China, nor have convergence of foreign policy interests. Due to a lack of business ties and absence of people-to-people contacts, the military-to-military dealings will remain an exception. For now, Moscow is not an easy capital to work with.

Learning from past experiences, Islamabad is least likely to choose sides between Moscow and Washington. Kremlin is in no hurry either. As Washington gradually disengages itself from Islamabad, Moscow has chosen to cautiously cozy up with Pakistan.



Naveed Ahmad is a Pakistani investigative journalist and academic with extensive reporting experience in the Middle East and North Africa. He is based in Doha and Istanbul. He tweets @naveed360

Source : ET (Express Tribune)
 

rockstar08

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Recent Chawal Statements from Obama proves that US president lost his mind .. and he is trying level best to please the Indian lobby in Congress to attract some votes .. US never accepts its own failed and Stupid Policies that ruined the Entire ME and South Asia .. and also Messing up South China .. but they like bigots and Hypocrites blame other for their own failures ..
 

Taimoor Khan

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Anyone who is fimiliar with the geography of Asia, and recent events in Ukraine and tension with Turkey, it is easy to understand where Russia stand with its relationship with Pakistan. With NATO trying to encroach on Russian territory via Ukraine, with the access to Bosporus under threat due to security issues with Turkey, which is a NATO member, Russian access to outside world is shrinking. That is where Pakistan, and CPEC comes into which will , by the looks of it will be extended to Russia to facilitate its trade and energy supplies to the rest of the world via warm waters of Arabian sea, a desire which caused them to Invade Afghanistan back in 80s.

Its more then some Mi35s or SU35s, maybe the beginning of a new world order. This is where the yanks and Obama are getting anxious, hence the their recent utterance. Obama used the work "instability" and must be taken with this background.
 

Sipahi

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The Kremlin has neither forgotten Afghanistan nor the role Pakistan played in frustrating its ambitions.
Its better they won't forget, they helped India to cut us in two pieces, we managed to cut them in several pieces. How and with whom help do not matter now.

Its better to be friend for both of us.
 

Dalit

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Its becoz russia needs $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Let me guess, Russians conduct business with India because they love them and not for $$$? How old are you?

Yeah really see their economy...thats why they sold some helicopters and minor defenses....

By the way they wont get and $$$ from pakistan....since their economy is in very bad shape.....
We can give Russia access to warm waters which they have always sought. We can include Russia into our CPEC project. Russia is willing to build pipelines. Something we can calculate in currency and $$$.

India on the other hand won't figure in any of this despite repeatedly asking Pakistan for access to Afghanistan and CAS. You ain't getting it.

China just invested tens of billions of dollars in Pakistan. Pakistani economy is doing great. You are living under a rock.
 
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Dalit

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Its better they won't forget, they helped India to cut us in two pieces, we managed to cut them in several pieces. How and with whom help do not matter now.

Its better to be friend for both of us.
Despite this history I would choose the Russians as a friend as opposed to the Americans any day any time. It is all about interests, but some level of trust is also part of the game.
 
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Sipahi

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Despite this history I would choose the Russians as a friend as opposed to the Americans any day any time. It is all about interests, but some level of trust is also part of the game.
Thats why I have said "Its better to be friend for both of us"
 

somebozo

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Russian Army Chief General Oleg Salyukov approved holding military exercises with Pakistan codenamed Indestructible Brotherhood.
I find that name Ironic!

Despite this history I would choose the Russians as a friend as opposed to the Americans any day any time. It is all about interests, but some level of trust is also part of the game.
Atleast the Russians stick out to their allies far better than American..i assume sooner or later..SCO would come up with their own currency and the sanctions would go to hell!

The Kremlin has neither forgotten Afghanistan nor the role Pakistan played in frustrating its ambitions. While it occupies east Ukraine and brutally bombs anti-Assad Syrians, armed or civilians alike, it is pursuing a more Machiavellian approach to Pakistan and Afghanistan. For now, Moscow seeks stability in both the countries. It has lauded Pakistani effort to curb extremism and to end insurgency in Afghanistan.
As long as Kremlin understands that our borders are off limits..everything will be fine..gone are the days of soviet union...Russia is not going to invade anyone...Pakistan has an important location to avail on the map...

India on the other hand won't figure in any of this despite repeatedly asking Pakistan for access to Afghanistan and CAS. You ain't getting it.
The real threat would be Pakistan imposing its own unofficial economic sanctions on India by restricting its access to transit trade while Iran gives Chahbar lollypop to India and builds its own industrial base for manufacturing and exports...
 

Dukkar

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I think Russia & PK are born to be natural allies if we can forget the 2B $ annual dole from USA .
 

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