External Affairs Minister Jaishankar Will Have Plenty To Discuss When He Visits Moscow
India’s top diplomat was already planning to visit Moscow prior to President Putin’s enthusiastic praise of his leader, but that event and its major impact on global perceptions gives his upcoming trip an even greater importance.
Russian Foreign Minister spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that Indian External Affairs Minister (EAM) Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will visit Moscow early next month to meet with his counterpart. His trip comes at an historic moment in International Relations whereby the global systemic transition to multipolarity has been unprecedentedly accelerated in light of this year’s dramatic sequence of events.
Those who are unfamiliar with India’s kingmaker role in all this should review my latest analysis here for background. In brief, by decisively defying the West’s sanctions, India preemptively averted Russia’s potentially disproportionate dependence on China as a valve from related pressure. This in turn enabled the systemic transition to move from its present bi-multipolar intermediary phase towards tripolarity.
From there, everything can eventually evolve towards that selfsame transition’s final form of more complex multipolarity (“multiplexity”). To that end, India is working closely with Iran and Russia to create a third pole of influence for bringing this about. This sets the backdrop for EAM Jaishankar’s upcoming trip to Moscow, which will presumably include the following topics on his agenda:
* Energy Cooperation
India’s imports of discounted Russian fuel have exploded over the past year, which has served the purpose of helping that rising multipolar Great Power control inflation and thus help maintain its massive population’s living standards. Accordingly, the future of this strategic axis of cooperation will obviously figure among the most prominent issues of discussion early next month.
* Agricultural Cooperation
Food security is as equally important as energy security is for maintaining the living standards of India’s people, which is what drives that country’s people-centric policy of principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict. There are reports that India is ready to buy Russian wheat for reexport, and if such a deal is successfully clinched, then it can do much to alleviate the Global South’s food crisis.
* Military Cooperation
It’s no secret that Russia has remained India’s most reliable military-security partner over the decades, with Delhi even defying Washington’s CAATSA sanctions threats to go through with the S-400 air defense deal that it earlier agreed to with Moscow. It therefore naturally follows that EAM Jaishankar will discuss the promising future of mutually beneficial relationship during his trip.
* Afghan Coordination
Unconventional security cooperation is another aspect of the Russian-Indian Strategic Partnership, with post-occupation Afghanistan representing a major threat to their interests in this respect due to ISIS-K’s rise over the past year. Moscow recently proposed creating a five-country platform together with Delhi and other stakeholders for managing related threats, which will certainly be discussed between them.
* Iranian Coordination
As was touched upon previously, Russia and India are working closely with Iran to create a third pole of influence for breaking through the present bi-multipolar impasse in International Relations. The centerpiece of this initiative is the North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) between all three of their countries, which will certainly have a place on next month’s agenda.
* Trilateral Cooperation
Building upon the above Eurasian connectivity megaproject, its successful completion will expand Indian influence into Central Asia and the South Caucasus. These two former Soviet regions are fertile places for Russia and India to pioneer trilateral cooperation with their shared partners, to which end they can continue assembling their new Non-Aligned Movement (“Neo-NAM”) for facilitating multipolarity.
* UN Reform
Russia stands in full and unwavering solidarity with India’s desire to obtain a permanent seat at the UNSC, and although this might not happen anytime soon, it’s still worthwhile discussing during EAM Jaishankar’s upcoming trip to Moscow. He and those who he’ll meet with will likely talk about the broad contours for actualizing this ambitious vision in order to frame their teams’ follow-up work on this.
* Media Cooperation
The enthusiastic praise that President Putin gave to Prime Minister Modi during his participation at the Valdai Club’s latest annual event made it impossible to deny India’s game-changing role in the global systemic transition to multipolarity. Seeing as how their grand strategies are complementary, they’ll probably seek to amplify each other’s policies, which EAM Jaishankar might discuss next month.
From the above, it’s clear that Russia and India have plenty in common when it comes to their shared efforts in shaping the emerging Multipolar World Order. The latter’s top diplomat was already planning to visit Moscow prior to President Putin’s enthusiastic praise of his leader, but that event and its major impact on global perceptions gives his upcoming trip an even greater importance.
The eyes of the world, both those among the US-led West’s Golden Billion as well as the jointly BRICS- and SCO-led Global South of which they’re both a part, will be on EAM Jaishankar during his visit to Moscow. This means that it’ll be the most important diplomatic event anywhere across the globe at that time barring any black swan event that might come up around then.
The significance of this observation is that it speaks to India’s increasingly pivotal influence in International Relations, particularly with respect to the kingmaker role that it’s recently obtained as a result of its masterful balancing act between the Golden Billion and the Global South. Simply put, India is too important for the world to ignore, and everyone must thus finally pay it the attention it deserves.