Saturday 15 June 2002

India and Russia: With China or the U.S.? (UPI)

M.D Nalapat

MANIPIL, India, June 15 (UPI) -- Under Russian President Vladimir Putin ties between India and Russia have recovered the closeness that was a geo-political given until the Yeltsin years. Before, the Mafia ruled in Moscow and external interests manipulated the two countries into compromising national interests for protection abroad.
Today, India's best friend has recovered from the chaos of those years and is on track to restoring its superpower status and responsibilities. New Delhi and Moscow come as a package. An alliance with the one implies an accommodation with the other.
While the United States is a bi-continental -- in fact, quadric-continental -- power thanks to its superb cultural amalgam of Europe and Asia, Russia is equally so because of geography.
Unfortunately, thus far, the hidden opposition of France and Germany -- eager to retain their shared domination over Europe, a control that would dissolve in the event of Russia's entry -- has prevented Moscow from being offered terms for integration into European structures that are commensurate with its potential.