New Delhi: After denying reports that it had shown any interest in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Russia has not only fully backed the project, but also plans to link it with its own Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) project.
Moscow last month emphatically denied Pakistan media reports that it was looking to involve itself in CPEC by acquiring access to the port built by China at Gwadar . Russia’s ambassador to Pakistan Alexey Y Dedov has now been quoted as saying that Russia and Pakistan have held discussions to merge Moscow’s Eurasian Economic Union project with the CPEC.
Dedov said Russia “strongly” supported CPEC as it was important for Pakistan’s economy and also regional connectivity.
The mixed signals emanating from Moscow, as strategic affairs expert Brahma Chellaney said, are injecting uncertainty in the direction of the Russia-India relationship whose trajectory long epitomized constancy and stability.
“It is as if Moscow no longer sees India as a reliable friend or partner. Indeed, by seeking common cause with India’s regional adversaries — including by supporting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through internationally disputed territory and engaging with the Pakistan-backed Taliban — Russia is challenging India’s core interests,” said Chellaney.