India and Russia have good relations, but the “mutual trust” the two sides enjoy is in the future likely to “hinge” on various geo-political developments, including China’s growing influence in the South China Sea, an expert on Indo-Russian ties claimed today. Petr Topychkanov, a fellow in the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Non-proliferation Programme, at an interactive session here, also said India and Russia are on the “same page” on the issue of Taliban. “Ties between India and Russia are good. There is trust from the two sides. But in the future that trust will hinge on on various geo-political developments, which includes China’s growing influence in the South China Sea, among other factors,” he said. Topychkanov was speaking at the session hosted by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) on ‘India-Russia: Enablers and Limits’. “As long as you have nuclear weapons, there would be nuclear threats. North Korea was on the top of the list when it came to nuclear threat globally, followed by South Asia, i.e., India-Pakistan-China and then Russia-US and the West,” he said on the sidelines of the interaction.
Topychkanov, also author of a number of papers, including ‘Nuclear Weapons and Strategic Security in South Asia’ (2011), praised India, saying “India has never crossed the red line”. On a question on the role of Russia in Afghanistan, he said, “Russia and India are same on the same page on the issue of Taliban.” In fact, Russia is still committed that the Islamic State is declared a terrorist organisation globally. “The Russian Supreme Court has already declared it a terrorist organisation,” he said.