Russia’s leverage and influence can change China’s stance at the Ladakh border
Russia has become an important diplomatic player between India and China between the escalating tensions. Russia under the leadership of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will host the RIC (Russia-India-China) trilateral foreign ministers meeting. This would be the first opportunity for India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar to face-time with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi over videoconference. Both the foreign ministers earlier had an angry phone call on June 17 for the June 15 incident where India lost 20 Indian soldiers.
On Wednesday, Russia will host India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe. Both the leaders along with Chinese and Indian marching contingents will take part in the Victory Day parade on June 24.
India and Russia have reached to each other at least two times through diplomatic channels
After the deadly conflict on 15th June in the Galwan Valley, India’s ambassador to Russia D Bala Venkatesh Varma held talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov on June 17. Russian Foreign Ministry said that both the officials discussed regional security including the recent events near the Line of Actual Control between China and India. However, there was no official announcement from the Indian government on the same.
In the first week of June just before the Lieutenant General-level meeting between India and China on 6th June, India’s foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla updated Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev about the stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops near the Ladakh border.
Why does Russia matter?
After the Cold-War between USSR and the USA, economic relations between Russia and China developed in huge numbers. China is currently Russia’s biggest trading partner and the biggest investor from Asia. China considers Russia a growing market for its consumer goods and as a powerhouse of raw material.
The approach of Western countries especially European countries towards Russia after the annexation of Crimea through harsh sanctions in 2014 brought Russia much closer to Beijing. India has always believed that western countries have made Russia come closer to China in terms of trade.
A China-Russia informal alliance has been in place since the last few years. This became possible because of China’s deteriorating relations with the USA and the increasing dependence of Russia on Chinese consumption.
Experts believe that India has made this decision to reach out to Russia not just of choice but also because time called for it. India believes that Russia has leverage and influence to change the stance of China on the India-China border amid escalating border tension at the LAC in the Ladakh region.
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