Bug in Indo-Russian relations

There have been numerous reports on the unexpected and unprovoked cooling down of Indo-Russian relations. Though Indians somewhat think, that this is linked to a more China oriented Russian policy, I believe there could be more than that. Russian-Chinese relations are not completely impeccable as well, Chinese refused to buy Russian electricity at one point, for instance and Russians are certainly disappointed by the fact that they did not really manage to play Chinese card against the West, i.e. strike a military alliance under Russian auspices or whatever.

In the latest move 28 January Russia banned any plant imports from India, as Russian agricultural watchdog spotted “a dangerous bug species” in Indian sesame. Some Russian cigarette brands even face extinction because they relied on Indian imports. Now it is regular practice to safeguard one’s territory or people from deceases abroad, but since Russia is known for using imports/exports as an awkward tool in foreign policy, it is fairly obvious what Russians really meant by this “dangerous bug”.

Nov 12: Though foreign secretary of India, Shiv Shankar Menon rejected the reports of ‘chill in Indo-Russian relations’ but this is something difficult to hide. Anyone can sense the frostiness in the relations by the fact that Russia haofficially ruled out any possibility of signing any nuclear deal with India and during the cut-short visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Russia taking excuse of the guidelines and rules of IAEA and NSG.

Chill or no chill in Indo-Russian relations

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