NSA Ajit Doval visits Moscow, raises concern over Russian inclination toward China

This week in Moscow, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev had a heart-to-heart discussion in which they covered the Indo-Pacific, Ukraine, and their respective countries’ worries on the developing security situation in Asia. Denis Manturov, the newly appointed deputy prime minister of Russia in charge of the armament industries, was also introduced to Doval.

NSA Doval dispelled any Russian perception that India had turned away from its former strategic ally and moved toward the western camp during his visit to Moscow. He made it plain to his listeners that India is independent and only makes decisions based on its own self-interests and concerns for national security.

However, NSA Doval also made it clear that India was concerned about Russia’s inclination toward China. China and India have a long-standing boundary issue that recently flared up as a result of the PLA’s unilateral moves in the East Ladakh sector in May 2020. According to him, China has yet to return the East Ladakh region to its pre-April 2020 status quo, leaving the boundary dispute in uncertainty.

Following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s travel to Taiwan on August 2, the two sides discussed China’s power projection, with Russia voicing alarm about the Indo-Pacific region’s quick militarization.
Moscow is concerned about the military retaliation by Japan, Taiwan, and the US over the Chinese missile firing over Taiwan following Pelosi’s visit because it will affect Russian oil exports from Vladivostok. This is because the Sino-US dispute in the Indo-Pacific is intensifying.

The two NSAs also exchanged notes on Ukraine. They also talked on cooperation in atomic energy, space, trade, and investment during the NSA-level dialogue while both nations expressed concern over the developments in Afghanistan.

Source: Hindustan Times

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