Narendra Modi has just concluded his 6 days visit to 4 countries, Russia, Germany, Spain and France. But what does the trip signifies? Narendra Modi has made India’s foreign policy very dynamic and proactive. He launched his counter-offense in SPIEF without naming Trump or USA. Here is the summary of key discussions and incident related to visit of 4 countries:
Germany– Cooperation in Renewable energy, Smart Cities, intelligence sharing, counter terrorism. Though there is little progress on FTA, Defense Co-operation with Germany.
As the rise of Nationalism in USA under the leadership of Trump moving towards isolation of US whether its Paris Agreement pull back & restrictions on Visas, Trans-Pacific relationship with EU, it has created space for other countries to fill in the gap like China & India. Before Narendra Modi arrival in Berlin, an interesting event took place where German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Trump & implied that they cannot trust their foreign partner hitting out at US hostility towards Europe. Though its election year in Germany, but looking at the results of local elections it is safe to say Angela will return to power again. Even though this year G-20 summit is to be held Germany, instead of meeting on the sidelines of G-20 they decided to meet at earlier occasion.
Next stop- Spain- Focus on Economic ties
It was first Indian prime ministerial visit to Spain in nearly 30 years, last Prime minister visited Spain was Rajiv Gandhi in late 80s. India is working closely with Spain in areas like Railway, Smart cities, etc. Indian Railway is trying to upgrade its stagnant infrastructure with the help from Spanish giant TALCO to introduce high speed trains in India. The main objective behind PM visit was to improve economic and cultural relations with the European nation.
Russia- Focus on re-enforcement of ties with Russia
India has historical ties with Russia, this year India & Russia marked its 70 years old diplomatic relations. After Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, India shifted its Foreign policy focusing US while ignoring Russia or better phrased “Being inactive” on Russian front Even some defense analysts implied that India has allied with US & left Russia as its key partner. Under the American influence India’s ties with China further plumbed. Putin praised Narendra Modi & India many times in the dialogue.
This week was a golden opportunity for India to restore its relationship with Russia and China, Narendra Modi took it with open arms. Firstly India refused to take part in naval exercise with Australia, so that it does not deteriorate its ties with China further anymore.
Trump criticized India for taking Billions and Billions and Billions in form of aid from US & shifting onus on India and China. Trump needed some reason to justify his idiotic rant and India, which was pushed to sign agreement by Obama, was the victim. Narendra Modi pulled no punches and launched a counter attack at St Petersburg International Economic Forum in St Petersburg, Russia where whole world was viewing the event moderated by American journalist Megyn Kelly, Narendra Modi without naming America or Trump hit back & pulled no punches. He said, “Paris or No Paris, can’t snatch from our kids their right for clean earth” gave example of Vedic India and importance of mother earth. He took a soft stance on China & India’s border disputes and said, “Not 1 bullet has been fired at border for past 40 years”.
India not only took high moral grounds vis-à-vis USA, but also took decision which is economically beneficial for India. Solar Power is getting cheaper, even India received a bid of Rs. 2.97 for the world’s largest solar plant. Solar is getting cheaper as against Coal. Implying, India not only took high moral ground, but also it is economically and environmentally beneficial in long run. Trump is not good for India, he has put restrictions on H-1B visa for India’s IT professional & is against Globalism. Now there is fear among experts that Trump, to satisfy his domestic voter have compromised relations with not only India but also Europe.
Final Stop- France- Counter-terrorism, cooperation on climate change.
The France and India both are victims of terrorism and the two nations have been working together for a very long time, bilaterally and multilaterally. Emmanuel Macron criticized US for its withdrawal from Paris Agreement. French President has keen interest in the Environment protection & to reduce the increasing temperature by 2 degrees. India’s sticking to Paris Accord might make France to invest more in India’s energy sector. Both leaders hold discussion on International Solar Alliance, a joint initiative by France & India. Narendra Modi invited French President to visit India, to which the President has accepted and will visit New Delhi at the end of the year.
To Sum up: Narendra Modi has taken advantage of the Trump’s Anti-Globalism policies, hit out at Trump for his rant on Russian soil to make India stand not only at high moral grounds but also to satisfy Putin & to maintain balance between Russia & US. India needs FDI, with Trump is power, US is not much of a help to India. Trump has derailed the years of bilateral ties formed after hard work in mere seconds.
India under US pressure has been critical of China; India will take soft stance on India’s policy towards China. Under the current leadership of Trump, USA is not a reliable strategic partner of India, but can be a business partner only. New Delhi might revisit the stance towards OBOR and might remain inactive in South China Sea.
The timing of the trip is very interesting from the perspective of World politics. The trip has significant importance from NSG, permanent seat at UN to Trade relation, FDI in India to much discussed issues like Paris Agreement, Counter-Terrorism. India has opened up its foreign policy in such a way that it is no longer dependent on any single partner unlike 90s.