Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov said during a recent conference on bilateral relations that “We don’t think a weak Pakistan would be a better choice for the region, for India or Afghanistan.”
He subsequently clarified in a follow-up tweet that, “Meaning destabilized Pakistan is not in the interests of any in the region. A strong anti-India Pakistan cannot be in the interest of any, particularly India.” Ambassador Alipov’s point is valid since more robust Russian-Pakistani energy ties stabilize South Asia.
There was déjà vu in Moscow after Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari visited nearly a year after former Prime Minister Imran Khan did in order to advance the latter’s vision of comprehensively expanding economic relations, the goal of which ironically contributed to his ouster last April. Pakistan’s restored American overlords evidently greenlit the trip out of pragmatism upon realizing that their regional proxy regime requires economic relief via cheap Russian energy in order to remain in power.
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Regardless of the reasons behind his trip, the fact of the matter is that Russia doesn’t just regard more robust energy ties with Pakistan as a profitable business opportunity, but also as part of its regional responsibility as a Eurasian Great Power. By helping to resolve elements of the post-modern coup regime’s self-inflicted economic crisis, Moscow is indirectly averting the worst-case scenario of Pakistan’s collapse that could destabilize all of South Asia in the chance that it transpires.
Since that sequence of events can’t be discounted due to the snowballing effect of those US proxies’ utter mismanagement of the economy, which regrettably makes this worst-case scenario comparatively more likely by the day, it’s incumbent on regional stakeholders to do what they can to help Pakistan. China can only do so much in this respect since its trade and investment ties haven’t prevented its strategic partner’s spiraling economic crisis even if they helped decelerate that country’s decline.
Only Russia can save Pakistan from crisis?
What’s urgently required is the massive import of discounted energy in order to stave off the possibility of Pakistan’s impending bankruptcy brought about by its balance of payments crisis. If this can be ensured, then the country would have a fighting chance at avoiding the worst-case scenario of a full-on economic collapse, the consequences of which would obviously reverberate throughout the region due to their far-reaching socio-political and especially security impacts.
That said, it can’t be taken for granted that this Russian pressure valve will prevent this sequence of events from transpiring since it might ultimately be too little too late after the post-modern coup regime artificially delayed the former premier’s pragmatic plans for political reasons to please their US patrons. In any case, however, the point is that there are serious strategic motivations behind Russia remaining interested in scaling up its energy cooperation with Pakistan despite last year’s post-modern coup.
Read more: Russian-Pakistani Economic & Energy Cooperation Just Took A Great Leap Forward
Simply put, Moscow is aware that it’s the only actor with the capabilities to help avert the worst-case scenario of Pakistan’s collapse which could in turn destabilize South Asia and thus endanger the security of Russia’s strategic partners in India. With a view towards preventing this, if it’s even still possible at this point in time, everyone should thus encourage the accelerated pace at which Russian-Pakistani energy ties are poised to expand since this trend is truly in the entire region’s objective interests.
Andrew Korybko is a Moscow-based American political analyst, radio host, and regular contributor to several online outlets. He specializes in Russian affairs and geopolitics, specifically the US strategy in Eurasia. The article has been republished and the views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.