Welcoming Putin

New Delhi should treat the Russian president with the usual respect

Samanth Subramanian of The National asked me to comment on Vladimir Putin’s visit to India. My response:

Putin’s visit is part of a longstanding tradition of bilateral visits. It comes at a time when there is greater convergence of interests between India and the United States, than between India and Russia. That said, Russia bears greater responsibility for the divergence in relations with India, for it has almost gratuitously pursued an arms-sale relationship with Pakistan. Those sales have little utility other than sending unwelcome signals to New Delhi.

New Delhi should welcome Mr Putin with great warmth and the traditional respect, despite his recent actions. Russia has been and can be a useful partner for India. For his part, Mr Putin would do well to reflect on how Russian industry can take advantage of Mr Modi’s “Make in India” initiative, especially in the defence and technology sectors.

Samanth’s article is up on The National’s website.

1 thought on “Welcoming Putin”

  1. Putin is arming and aiding separatists that undermine a neighbouring country, and he changed international borders by force because he does not like them. India should reflect whether that sort of behaviour by a major power sets a good precedent, and whether it is really wise to be completely silent about it. India has often criticised the West for high-handed action. Putins actions are nothing if not high-handed. So what is India’s stand?

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