Denis Telmanov & Alexey Gryazev
The USA hosted the first personal meeting of the leaders of the “Asian NATO” – the informal alliance QUAD, which includes the USA, Australia, India and Japan. Experts interviewed by Gazeta.Ru state that one of the main tasks of this alliance is to withdraw India from Russia’s zone of influence and make it China’s main adversary.
The first ever personal QUAD summit in Washington brought together US President Joe Biden, Prime Ministers of India and Australia Narendra Modi and Scott Morrison , as well as outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Sugu.
The meeting turned out to be fruitful in terms of the decisions made: the parties agreed on cooperation in the field of security, exchange of satellite data and the development of 5G networks. The joint statement also states the intention to conduct a pandemic exercise in 2022 and plans to coordinate policies towards Afghanistan.
Also, the QUAD countries announced the “launch of a new Quartet partnership in infrastructure”, including with the European Union .
On the eve of the meeting, the White House said that its participants are striving to create a free and open Pacific region and are looking for solutions for this. However, all four countries, except the United States, are united by something else – each has territorial – like Japan and India – and aquatorial – like Australia – problems with China. The United States has declared China the main threat to the world.
One for all and all against one
American political scientist Rafael Ordukhanyan notes that an alliance with Japan, Australia and India is very important for the United States, since it practically guarantees the creation of conditions for controlling China.
“Judging by the latest actions – the creation of AUKUS with the subsequent breakdown of the submarine deal between Australia and France, the disputes with Germany over the Nord Stream – the United States decided to shift the focus from Europe to the Asia-Pacific region. At the same time, all steps are based on the Anglo-Saxon base, “Ordukhanyan emphasized.
According to him, a typical US tactic is currently being implemented in relation to China – “they are th-rowing conflicts around the country with which they are going to play the game.”
“It was like that around Russia, and so it will be around China now,” the expert noted.
Dmitry Suslov , Deputy Director of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at the Higher School of Economics, believes that India is becoming its “key element” in this game against China. “It is not an ally of the United States, but it is an important link in deterring China – a nuclear power with a population of almost 1.5 billion people,” Suslov explained. At the same time, he noted that QUAD, unlike AUKUS, encourages the development of anti-China bilateral ties between all members of the union.
“It is beneficial for the United States that these countries strengthen their relations with each other: therefore, Japanese-Indian relations against China, Japanese-Australian ones, etc. are being strengthened,” the expert argues.
Why is this important for Russia?
Rafael Ordukhanyan also points out another difference between QUAD and AUKUS: the goal of this organization is not only to confront China, but also to tear India away from Russia.
“India could become a worthy counterbalance to China and be directed against both Beijing and Moscow,” the expert says. – The relationship that is developing between India and Russia does not suit the United States. Therefore, they will now try to drive a wedge between us. Thousa-nds of NGOs from England and the United States work there, and Pakistan works with the Muslim population. ”
In turn, Dmitry Suslov stressed that the ultimate goal of QUAD – to split the Asia-Pacific region into two camps: China and the US allies – is also not beneficial to Russia.
“We are interested in building relations with all countries on a parity basis, and not on a block principle.
The united Asia-Pacific region is more profitable for us, and the American concept dooms Russia to an alliance with China, ”Suslov explained.
Under such conditions, Beijing’s support from Moscow is very important, the expert is sure. According to him, the PRC for the first time found itself in the epicenter of confrontation with another superpower, therefore it is interested in Russia remaining “a friendly rear”: “Without Russia, China would be completely surrounded by unfriendly countries.”
However, Alexei Masl-ov, director of the RAS Institute for Far Eastern Studies, warns against such a development of events, assuring that Russia should in no case enter into a military alliance with China.
“This is all the United States needs. They will immediately declare this alliance the main enemy and a confrontation will begin in the spirit of NATO – Warsaw Pact, “Maslov explained.
What should Moscow do?
According to Rafael Ordukhanyan, in the current situation, Russia could not interfere in the confrontation between the United States and China, but deal with internal problems. This, he said, will require the state will and determination of financial groups for the expressive development of Siberia and the Far East.
“We have to play the card skillfully and get the most out of both the US and China. We can now, by pushing our players a little bit, take advantage of the respite and take care of our country. But Lavrov, Shoigu and Putin alone will not be enough. We need our entire ruling class to pay attention to this opportunity and start developing the country, ”he says.
Dmitry Suslov from the Higher School of Economics believes that Russia needs to criticize the QUAD union in every possible way, but at the same time develop relations with each of the countries that participate in it.
“It is in Russia’s interests to maintain close partnership not only with India, but also with Japan and Australia. It is impossible to get them out of the policy of containing China – each country has its own phobias towards this country. But it is quite possible to maintain and develop relations.
It cannot be assumed that India and Japan automatically become our enemies. This is not the case, ”the expert explained.
At the same time, Rafael Ordukhanyan warns against attempts to improve relations with the United Stat-es. The expert believes that in this situation, Washingt-on can go for a trick and concede in Syria, shifting responsibility for the Mid-dle East region to Russia.
“By creating the Israel-Russia-US alliance, they will be able, with our help, to surrender this region and recognize Syria as Russia’s zone of responsibility. But this is a trap, because, on the one hand, they talk about cooperation, on the other hand, no one is lifting the sanctions, ”Ordukhanyan recalled. On the other hand, according to him, an ideal situation is now emerging for the development of relations with European countries.
“Maybe we are even on the verge of opening the Berlin-Moscow-Beijing axis,” the expert suggested, adding that Russia is not yet ready for this scenario. “We are not ready to pick up the situation and play our game. But this “window of opportunity” will not always be open, because Joe Biden and Boris Johnson will not always be there . Clowns will leave, tamers of predators will come, ”concluded Ordukhanyan.