Political implications of the Russia China gas deal – By Dr. Bobby Srinivasan and Dr. Sudhakar Balachandran

The Russian involvement in Ukraine is a major source of global concern today. Political pundits are discussing among themselves as to whether it is a resovietization policy. America is putting pressure on the Euro zone countries not to buy the Russian gas and to strangle them economically. The Euro zone countries are not paying any attention to the US requests. For example, France wants to sell warships to Russia to generate jobs and profits. Germany and Italy are totally reliant on Russian gas and so cannot backout on any deals. Obama government’s foreign policy towards Russia has weakened enormously and in the years to come NATO countries themselves may choose courses of action which will make it Russia friendly.

Earlier announcement of the humungous gas deal between China and Russia will change the way these two countries will relate to each other in the future. The agreement struck in Shanghai a few days back by Russian president Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping his Chinese counterpart comes after 10 years of negotiations and marks an important breakthrough for Kremlin.

The arrangements are as follows: Russia’s Gazprom will supply National Petroleum corp, China’s largest oil company with up to 38 bln cubic meters of gas a year for 30 years beginning in 2018. Strategically it is very important for Gazprom for its revenue and profit and the deal is also a sign of stronger Sino-Russian ties at a time of deteriorating relationship between Moscow and the West.

Time has come for Barack Obama to come to terms with the new reality and any efforts by him to isolate Russia will not work. Currently for the $400 Billion deal details are being worked out and will be available to the public in due course of time.

It is an opportune moment for our prime minister to strike a deal with both Russia and China. We are much starved for energy. China and Russia could bring in their expertise and money to develop our gas fields. Our manufacturing sector is facing serious challenges and shortage of energy is one of them. Our friendship with China and Russia will go a long way towards converting our country into a developed nation. The rich new friends on the block are actually looking to build stronger ties with India. Mr. Prime Minister Sir, are we ready?

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