'Sharpness' in Indo-Russian relations will increase : Reports

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Moscow, Nov 14 (UNI) Stressing that indefinite postponement of an agreement on the nuclear deal was only a ''tip of the iceberg'', Russian press has said the current differences were not temporary and 'sharpness' in relations between Moscow and New Delhi will increase.

''Russia-India summit, which took place in the background of India's turn towards the US, allowed the sides to slightly remove tension of the recent months,'' said leading Russian business daily Kommersant.

''Nevertheless, it is evident that the current differences are not temporary and 'sharpness' in relations will increase. In the future, India's role as Russia's key partner in Asia may be questioned,'' the newspaper noted.

It said despite the official statements on ''unblemished relations'' between Moscow and Delhi, the 8th annual Russia-India Summit here, was overshadowed by non-signing of the key agreement on cooperation in the nuclear sphere.

The paper pointed out that compared to previous Russia-India summits, much fewer bilateral agreements were signed this time, adding for the first time during the eight years of the history of the summits, the sides did not sign a bilateral political declaration where the two countries traditionally state common aims in the construction of the world order.

''On the whole, it was initially planned to sign many more documents. Simultaneously, absence of key agreement on nuclear cooperation, which the sides chose not to mention yesterday, turned out to be rather symbolic,'' the paper said.

The paper gave two different versions as to what made the Indian side postpone the signing of the agreement.

According to some observers, India fears that signing of this agreement may be criticised by the IAEA and the so-called Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) which has not so far removed restrictions for cooperation with India in the nuclear sphere.

Delhi is convincing Moscow to wait so that in the future, India could receive approval of the NSG and there are no barriers in the way of India's cooperation with Russia in the nuclear sphere, it said.

Others say, by signing nuclear agreement with Delhi, Moscow aspired to overtake the US which coordinated the text of the agreement on cooperation in the usage of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes (123 Agreement) in July, this year.

''However, by postponing the signing of the nuclear agreement with Moscow, Delhi decided not to annoy Washington,'' it quoted them as saying.

It also said not everything in India's foreign policy was happening to Russia's liking, in particular, Indian stand on the issue of the deployment of US-Japan anti-missile defences in the Pacific Ocean.

During the trilateral meeting of Foreign Ministers from Russia, China and India in Harbin at the end of October, Russian and Chinese Foreign Ministers expressed clear rejection of the US anti-missile plans while their Indian counterpart chose not to tackle this issue and refrained from harsh anti-American rhetoric, Kommersant said.

There is yet another testament of Delhi's possible involvement in the orbit of the US policy.

Consultations have recently started on the creation of the Union of Asian-Pacific democracies, initiated by Japan. Besides the US, Japan and Australia, India is also invited to the Union.

''Russia has already expressed its negative attitude to this idea viewing it as a comeback of the old block mentality from the period of the Cold War,'' the paper said.

UNI

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