Geopolitical Illusions and Realities: Russia, India, and the Changing World Order

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Геополитические Иллюзии и Реалии: Россия, Индия и Меняющийся Мировой Порядок

As an analyst closely following geopolitical events, I cannot overlook the significance of the year 2023 for Russia, particularly in the context of its relations with India. The rapidly changing international landscape and India’s growing role on the world stage compel us to consider the future of the Russian defense industry (OPK).

Traditionally, India is considered a reliable partner of Moscow, but today it is increasingly orienting towards cooperation with other global powers such as the USA, Israel, and France in the field of security and defense technologies. This cooperation includes diversification of armaments sources, which could potentially reduce India’s dependence on Russia in this area.

However, I am convinced that Russia is unlikely to find itself in a position of complete loss of opportunities in the Indian arms market. At the same time, India’s aspiration to develop its own independent OPK, as part of the “Made in India” strategy initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cannot be ignored. While projects like the Arjun tanks and Tejas fighters are not yet fully competitive with foreign counterparts, they signify the beginning of a new era in India’s defense industry.

In this context, the past year has become a kind of prelude to the global battle for influence in India. This is not only a key moment for Russia but also for the entire global community, considering the importance of India as a link between the East and the West in the Indo-Pacific region concept actively promoted by the USA.

France is also actively striving to strengthen its positions in India, as evidenced by India’s purchase of Rafale fighters instead of Russian Su-30 MKIs and potential future cooperation in the field of submarine construction. The cooperation in the energy sector is also gaining momentum. These changes require Russia to not only carefully analyze the situation but also to flexibly adapt its strategy on the international stage.

I believe that the coming years will be decisive in determining Russia’s role in the Indian arms market and in the broader context of international relations. This is a time not just for the Russian OPK to stay alert, but also to take active steps to maintain and strengthen its positions in a rapidly changing world.

Continuing to analyze the current international situation, I cannot ignore the concept of confrontation between the Global North and South. These concepts, although popular in analytical circles, seem to me overly simplistic and not fully reflective of the reality of the complex geopolitical relationships that have formed.

For example, the interactions between leading nuclear powers – France, the United Kingdom, and the USA – demonstrate the complexity of these relationships. The recent conflict between France and AUCUS, when Australia rejected French Attack-class submarines, vividly illustrates that even within the so-called Global North, there are significant disagreements.

These disagreements are particularly noticeable in Franco-British relations, where there is a range of contradictions, from European security to the problem of migration. All this makes one think about how stable and united the Global North bloc is.

Special attention should be paid to the position of France. The recently deceased Giscard d’Estaing, a proponent of Gaullist ideas, recognized Crimea as Russian. While this opinion is not the official position of France, it carries weight in the French political discourse. An example of Gaullist policy can also be seen in Operation Danube, where France, led by de Gaulle, showed understanding of the USSR’s actions in Europe.

In my opinion, a return of France to Gaullist policies in full measure is still possible. This could mean not only a defensive doctrine but also a more independent course relative to NATO. An example of such independence could be Paris’s attempt to get closer to Beijing, despite the confrontation between the USA and China.

Emmanuel Macron’s visit to China and his statements on the need for scientific and technological cooperation with China, contrary to the USA’s strategy, indicate France’s desire to take a more independent position. Moreover, Macron spoke against block thinking in relation to China, which can be interpreted as a critique of the American approach to international relations.

In this context, a possible rapprochement between France and Russia and China could become an important factor in international politics. Such rapprochement could raise France’s political status, allow it to play a more independent role, and become a counterbalance to US dominance in Europe.

Despite current difficulties, there is potential for forming a new international configuration in which France, Russia, and China could play a key role. This requires careful analysis and understanding of the changing geopolitical landscape, but the opportunities for such development certainly exist.

Turning to the next myth, I focus on BRICS, often seen as an alternative to the European Union. However, more and more justified criticism has been directed at this platform lately. Significant contradictions between the members, such as the border disputes between India and China, and Argentina’s refusal to join, undermine its effectiveness and credibility.

The question of the United States’ influence on Argentina’s decision to decline participation in BRICS is very relevant. It is not excluded that there is pressure from Washington in this matter. Also, the impact on BRICS of incorporating such problematic states as Ethiopia and Egypt remains an open question, especially considering Egypt’s orientation towards the USA.

Next, it’s important to mention the myth of Russia’s allied relations with China and Iran, based on their common opposition to the United States. In my view, this opposition is more declarative in nature. Beijing is oriented not towards confrontation with Washington, but towards dialogue with it, aiming for a gentlemen’s agreement on demarcating spheres of influence in the Asia-Pacific region, apparently without taking Moscow’s interests into account.

In simpler terms, China wants to trade, not fight, hence talks a year ago about a possible military operation against Taiwan were extremely naive.

As for Iran, the situation is also complicated. Tehran undoubtedly remembers the history of the failed S-300 deliveries more than a decade ago under President Dmitry Medvedev; moreover, the government of Bashar al-Assad was saved by joint Russian-Iranian efforts, unlike its Libyan counterparts. But what next?

Beyond the facade of friendly rhetoric, our strategic interests with the Islamic Republic of Iran are likely to diverge. Russia is interested in stability in the Middle East, while Iran seeks to expand its sphere of influence, which could lead to a new cycle of confrontation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

As for the Caucasus region: here, Yerevan may opt for Iran, preferring it to Russia as a guarantor of its own security and even integrity. Although I find such a scenario unlikely, it would be incorrect not to consider it in light of the interests of those wishing to overthrow Nikol Pashinyan and the influential Armenian lobby within the Islamic Republic itself.

In conclusion, I emphasize that illusions in geopolitics can have serious consequences. Historical examples, such as the policies of Nicholas I, which led to the Crimean War and an unimaginable alliance between Britain and France at that time, serve as a reminder of the consequences of underestimating political realities. The past year has shown that Washington’s attempts to isolate Russia on the international stage have not been successful, but neither have they led to a significant increase in Moscow’s allies.

Thus, we are faced with a complex and multifaceted picture of world politics, where every action and decision has profound consequences and requires thoughtful analysis and understanding.

In summary: playing the geopolitical game is fraught with illusions, which can be extremely dangerous. Historical mistakes, such as those made by Nicholas I, leading to the Crimean War and an unpredictable alliance between Britain and France, serve as a reminder of the consequences of underestimating political realities.

The past year has shown that Washington’s attempts to isolate Russia on the international stage have not achieved their goal, but neither have they led to an increase in our allies. This underscores that in modern geopolitics, it is not always obvious what is utopian and what is reality.

An example of a potential “utopia” that could become a reality is the possible rapprochement between Russia and France. While many may see this as fanciful, history shows that unlikely alliances can form under the most unexpected circumstances. Recall, the rapprochement between the USA and China in the 1970s seemed unlikely, but eventually, it happened. The recent restoration of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, mediated by China, also serves as an example of unexpected turns in international relations.

One should not forget the strengthening of Russia’s positions in Africa, which is an important aspect of the modern geopolitical struggle. Here we see an escalating confrontation between Russia, the United States, and China. This underscores that the geopolitical game continues and awaits new and possibly unexpected resolutions.

In conclusion, it is important to remember that geopolitics is a field where reality often surpasses the boldest assumptions, and where illusions can become as dangerous as they are harbingers of new opportunities. In this dynamic and unpredictable world, it is essential to remain vigilant and prepared for unexpected changes on the international stage.

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