“I think that India is keen to maintain its relationship with Russia and also to maintain its relationship with China even as it tries to deepen ties with the United States,” Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Michael Kugelman told Sputnik on Thursday.
On Sunday, President Obama began his two-day visit to India to participate in the country’s celebrations of the Republic Day and take part in a series of meetings with officials to discuss cooperation in defense, economy, civil nuclear power and climate change.
India, China and Russia have long cooperated together in many areas including the establishment of the five emerging economies which also include Brazil and South Africa (BRICS). New Delhi has additionally cooperated with Russia in the areas of energy and defense, and has heavily traded with China.
While in India, President Obama agreed on a number of issues with India including climate change and energy cooperation, a move that Kugelman says will likely concern Moscow.
Kugelman added that it is “unclear” how India will react in terms of how it “leads its relations with Russia.”
However, Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council Shuja Nawaz told Sputnik that although Russia and India have long established defense relations, Moscow may want to reestablish a relationship with the country amid New Delhi’s new partnership with the United States.
“I think the Indian-Russian ties are historical and pretty long lasting and well established, particularly in the defense area, on the trade side too,” Nawaz, who is also the founding Director of Washington based think tank South Asia Center said.
Nawaz said that since India is now a “global player” and becoming a partner of the United States, a country that continues to have deteriorating relations with Moscow, Russia may being to have “its own separate relationship with India.”
The experts said that China is also likely to express concern in the new bilateral relationship between India and the United States.
Nawaz told Sputnik that despite strong trade ties between China and India, Beijing “will be watching carefully,” when it comes to an increased economic relationship with New Delhi and Washington.
“The Chinese have their own longer term vision of trade ties, they continue to be concerned,” Nawaz said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry also visited India earlier in January and said that the two countries would strengthen their partnership by combating terrorism, deepening dialogue on key political and security issues, and boost sustainable economic development and growth in both countries.
During this week’s visit, President Obama agreed on a number of deals with New Delhi including striking a breakthrough nuclear agreement which gives India greater access to civilian nuclear technology in addition to $4 billion in trade and investment over the next two years.