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EurAsian Region

China On Its Side, Pakistan Going All Out To Woo Russia; Counter India-US Alliance

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Pakistan Foreign Minister SM Qureshi in conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov expressed Islamabad’s desire to have a long and multidimensional relationship with Moscow. Can the growing closeness between Pakistan and Russia change the political and diplomatic relationship between New Delhi and Moscow?

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The Russians are seeking the development of ties with Pakistan to limit the US influence in Asia,” wrote Farzad Bonesh, a researcher and analyst of international affairs. “But it should be noted that one of the most important goals of Russia’s foreign policy is to increase its international influence and advance its economic growth,” he added.

In recent years, the United States has had stronger ties with India than with Pakistan. With Washington’s strong stance against Islamabad’s inadequate response to the allegations of sheltering terrorists have led to weakened ties between the two nations.

“Pakistan is trying to use Russia to balance its foreign policies regarding India and the United States,” stated Bonesh. He further wrote that Pakistan is also trying to use its connections with Russia to gain advantages over the US by considering the regional and international confrontations and rivalries.

Russia and Pakistan plan to enhance their economic trade which was mere $800 million in 2018 but is expected to grow in the future. “So far, the two countries have been simplifying procedures and encouraging trade by establishing an intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation,” observed Bonesh.

He further wrote that unlike the trade relations between Russia and India, which amount to $10 billion a year, the volume of trade is inconsistent with its real potential. “In fact, the current volume of trade between the two countries compared with the overall volume of Russia’s foreign trade is very small,” stated the author.

Till 2014, Russia had a policy of not supplying any weapons to Pakistan. According to the author, the continued cooperation between the US and India in a series of important agreements in the field of defence has resulted in Russia and Pakistan going forward with more defence cooperation and weapons trade.

Pakistan has shown support for Russia’s “intention to cooperate” with the Taliban. Bonesh believes that the security interests of Russia and Pakistan are also influenced by the security and political stability of Afghanistan.

“A significant number of ISIS forces moved to Syria from Russia’s Muslim republics and some of them have further moved from Syria into areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan”

The reason between the closeness between Russia and Pakistan can be due to “limiting the US’s influence”. However, the author believes that the cooperation and relations between Russia and Pakistan cannot create the conditions and basis for a strategic, lasting and interdependent alliance in the fields of security, politics and strategy, because, for Russia, India is still an important country in South Asia. Thus, Moscow is taking careful steps with Islamabad to continue having healthy relations with India.

He concluded with explaining Moscow’s concern that the expansion of its relations with Islamabad will force India to move closer to the United States. “India’s market is larger than Pakistan’s. The arms trade between India and Russia still has great potential, while the deals signed between Moscow and Islamabad so far have not been very important,” he concludes.

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EurAsian Region

Azerbaijan-Armenia border clash: Azerbaijani soldiers killed in border clash with Armenia

Casualties are feared in Azerbaijan and Armenia in the border clash, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said. In a statement, it said that the Armenian army fired at positions held by Azerbaijan in the Tovuz region.

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An armed incident occurred today on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the Tovuz region. According to the press secretary of the Minister of Defense of Armenia – Shushan Stepanyan, Azerbaijani troops made an attempt to violate the state border in a UAZ car. 

Casualties are feared in Azerbaijan and Armenia in the border clash, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said. In a statement, it said that the Armenian army fired at positions held by Azerbaijan in the Tovuz region.

Shushan said – after a warning from the Armenian side, the Azerbaijani servicemen, left the car and returned to their positions. However, the incident is not over yet.

After a short time, the Azerbaijani military opened artillery fire in an attempt to capture Armenian positions. However, in return fire, the enemy was thrown back, having suffered casualties, said Shushan.

There are no losses from the Armenian side while three Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and four others injured in the border clash.

In a statement, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said the Armenian army had fired at positions held by Azerbaijan in the northwestern Tovuz region.

“The attack by Armenia, with the use of artillery, against the positions of the armed forces of Azerbaijan, along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, constitutes aggression, an act of the use of force, and another provocation,” said Hikmet Hajiyev, foreign policy chief for Azerbaijan’s presidency.

He pointed out that Armenia launched the “offensive and a provocation during the time when the international community is fighting the COVID-19,” bashing Armenia’s support of a UN initiative for global cease-fire amid the pandemic as “nothing but hypocrisy.”

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Asia Pacific

Indian Rafale Jets Would Have Been Useless Against Chinese Airforce – Russia Experts

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Rafale jets would have been useless against the Chinese Airforce (PLAAF) – Russian aviation experts have claimed. Rafale fighter jets belong to the 4 ++ generation would not have been of much use had an aerial conflict broken out in Ladakh again the PLAAF.

JF-17 vs Rafale: Why Pakistani JF-17 Thunder Poses A Serious Threat To Indian Rafale Fighter Jets?

As reported by EurAsian Times, India and China had been engaged in a brutal conflict in the Himalayan region of Ladakh. Troops of both countries have exchanged blows and even lost soldiers in the conflict that began more than a month ago.

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Keeping in mind the situation in Ladakh, France said that it would accelerate the delivery of Rafale fighter jets to India. Aviation experts believe that the arrival of Rafale fighter jets will significantly boost the combat capability of the Indian Air Force (IAF). However, according to Russian experts, who did not wish to be named, the French fighter would not help India much incase the conflict turns hot.

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The astronomical cost of Rafale fighter jets is one of the reasons the French 4++ fighter jet would not help India. In the deal struck with Paris, New Delhi agreed to purchase 36 Rafale Jets. The total cost of the deal was an estimated Rs 59,000 crore with each jet costing around Rs 1,646 crore.

The cost of a Rafale is about three times higher than the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter jets. In other words, for 36 French-made Rafale fighters that will appear in the Indian Air Force, China can respond with three times as many of its fifth-generation J-20 fighters – for the same money.

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Even if, in some ways, the characteristics of the Chinese combat aircraft lag behind the French 4 ++ fighter jet, then the Indian air force could get overwhelmed by what is called “capable of crushing by quantity”.

And the cost is not the only reason why Rafale jets would not help India much. Compared to another Chinese jet – J-16 (an analogue of the Russian Su-35) which Beijing is also using in its airforce, the Rafale jets will find it extremely challenging to outgun the Russian Su-35s operated by the Chinese.

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The maximum speed of the Rafale jet is about Mach 1.8 and the J-16 is Mach 2.2. The Rafale’s practical ceiling is also lower than the J-16s. Even in engine thrust, the Chinese J-16s aka Russian Su-35s are far superior to the French combat aircraft.

Even if the IAF was to deploy all 36 of its newly acquired jets, the technical superiority would still be on the side of China, claims the Russian expert.

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The IAF has been on high alert in Ladakh and is closely monitoring all Chinese activity near the Line of Control.  As reported by EurAsian Times, New Delhi has inked a deal with Moscow to buy 33 new fighter aircraft including 12 Su-30MKIs and 21 MiG-29s along with up-gradation of 59 MiG-29s. The addition and up-gradation of jets have been approved to strengthen India’s air power.

Rafale vs F-16: Can The Indian Rafale Jets Overpower The Pakistani F-16s In Aeriel Showdown?

The air defence systems of both the Indian Army and the IAF have been deployed in Ladakh to prevent any misadventure by the Chinese Air Force fighter jets or the People’s Liberation Army choppers there.

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EurAsian Region

Russian Technicians Keeping INS Vikramaditya Battle Ready Amid Flaring Regional Tensions

INS Vikramaditya has a total of 22 decks and it has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft including MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters.

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Russian technicians continue to provide maintenance to Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, despite the all the regional tensions and COVID-18 pandemic, Russian news agency TASS quoted a leading defence portal. 

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A group of Russian technicians who are supporting the Indian navy in providing timely maintenance for the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya have not left the country.

Despite the delays with the carrier’s acceptance for service, INS Vikramaditya offers ample opportunities for India’s Navy and allows New Delhi to keep its domination in the Indian Ocean, the news portal said in its article.

Indian Rafale Jets Would Have Been Useless Against Chinese Airforce – Russia Experts

INS Vikramaditya is a heavy upgrade of the Russian aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov. The work on the ship’s heavy upgrade was carried out at the Sevmash Shipyard and the flattop was handed-over the Indian Navy on November 16, 2013.

Under an inter-governmental agreement signed in 2004, India received the Admiral Gorshkov’s hull for free but on condition of its upgrade at the Sevmash Shipyard and its outfitting with Russian-made aircraft.

JF-17 vs Rafale: Why Pakistani JF-17 Thunder Poses A Serious Threat To Indian Rafale Fighter Jets?

After its upgrade, INS Vikramaditya displaces 45,000 tonnes and possess a state-of-art flight deck and a ski-jump for aircraft take-offs, navigation and radar systems, communications and aircraft control technology and also other special equipment and assemblies.

INS Vikramaditya has a total of 22 decks and it has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft including MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters.

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