Moscow: Russia looks poised to strike an alliance with India after Vladimir Putin called for the development of an “exclusive strategic partnership” after talks on the phone with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Syria crisis intensifies.
The Kremlin said the two leaders discussed developing an “exclusive strategic partnership between Russia and India”.
Putin and Modi agreed to maintain contact in the future after India initiated the phone call on Wednesday as US President Donald Trump threatened to unleash missiles on Russia.
Russia’s relationship with India appears to be stronger than most, with Modi last month congratulating Putin on his re-election as Russian President and expressing hope, that under his leadership, the ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’ between India and Russia would continue to go from strength-to-strength.
Yesterday, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chair Sonia Gandhi hailed the relationship between the two countries, saying the partnership has resulted in laying the foundations of India’s industrialisation.
She also commended Russia’s support of India during the Bangladesh War of Independence, adding Moscow “stood like a rock” with India during New Delhi’s moment of “grave crisis”.
The head of the UPA also visited Moscow on Monday to inaugurate a photoi exhibition of former Prime Minister and her late mother-in-law Indira Gandhi in what was seen as a rare overseas trip for a reson other than medical treatment.
The most recent phone call between Putin and Modi, details of which haven’t been released, could be seen as the formation of a closer alliance between the two countries as tensions between Russia and a number of other global nations continue to escalate to dangerous levels.
It could also be particularly relevant at a time when Russia and US draw closer to being on the brink of a potential war after Mr Putin threatened to shoot down US missiles fired at Syria’s forces in response to an alleged chemical attack on the country’s civilians at the weekend.
In a defiant reply, Trump tweeted: “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria.
“Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and smart!
“You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills people and enjoys it!”
Trump followed this up shortly afterwards with another tweet, stating that the relationship between the US and Russia “is worse now than it ever has been, and that includes the Cold War.”
Senior Russian leaders have warned of retaliation if the US President orders missile strikes to go ahead.
Both sides are looking to engage their allies in the bitterly-divided conflict stemming from the chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Douma on Saturday.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government has so far denied responsibility for the attack near Damascus that killed more than 70 people.
Last October, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he was working towards better relations with India after he accused it of not putting pressure on North Korea to end its reckelss war programme.