The just-concluded informal visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Russia on an invitation by President Vladimir Putin has the greater significance than that of being just perceived. While the ostentatious intentions of the Modi-Putin meet remained strengthening of bilateral ties and underlining the decades-old friendship of two countries, but the most significant focus must have been the two recent decisions taken by a maverick person in the global politics-US President Donald Trump.
Trump stormed into power, chanting the shibboleth of ‘America First’. Being a President of United States, it must be his commitment to putting America’s interest first, but in the course of doing that he appears to have forgotten or systematically brushed aside the interest of other independent nations on the global platform, who have sovereignty in managing their foreign relations accordingly their preferences. Trump’s stance of going against the conventional foreign policy of US, has baffled even the close and all-weather allies of America. For instance, Trump’s decision of taking the US away from the landmark nuclear accord with Iran—P5+1 deal ambitiously formed by former US President Barack Obama himself — reflects trump’s departure from the traditional policies of United States.
Unlike the US, Iran, commendably, left no stone unturned to abide by the pact, according to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, though, received flak from the most ardent supporters in his own country, who were censuring him for giving in to the US pressure, but Rouhani ensured the successful implementation of Iran deal that aimed at confining Iran’s controversial nuclear programme to the peaceful proposes. Then, what made Trump do away America from the crucial deal? Against this backdrop, many European countries have openly expressed their disappointment—Russia and China, too, have openly put their protest against US’s unpredictable stance.
In this tragic situation of the global politics, India enjoys no exception. Iran is India’s second-largest exporter of Oil. Putting sanctions on Iran again will create unwanted obstructions in the fulfillment of India’s Oil needs. Similarly, US inflicted its flinty sections on Russia’s arm exporting companies last year under its ‘Countering America’s Adversaries through Sections Act (CAATSA)’, following which Trump administration exhorted India not to buy arms from Russia. Inevitably, India junked US appeal very meekly as Russia has been an all-time ally of India and fulfilling India’s military requirements for decades.
During the talk, Modi and Putin both stressed upon enhancing the cooperation in arms and technical fields. In addition, both leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to take the bilateral relations to a new high. Undoubtedly, the recent global issues like the US pulling out of Iran deal, Syria clashes, North Korea Nuclear Programme and growing Chinese influence in South China sea must have found an appropriate space during the informal talk, but there is no two-way discussion in the fact that the high-level talk was an outcome of the global situation created by Trump’s recent whimsical decisions. In the backdrop of deteriorating relation between US and Russia, the latest visit also points towards India’s growing discomfort concerning America.