Sergey Lavrov , finally found allies to fight the world terrorism (from left to right - head of the Indian foreign ministry Natvar Singh, on the right - the head of the Chinese foreign ministry Li Zhaoxing).
The Third Among the Equals
// Moscow, New Delhi and Beijing are creating counter-revolutionary union
Yesterday in Vladivostok there was a historical meeting of foreign ministers from Russia, India and China --Sergey Lavrov, Natvar Singh and Li Zhaoxing. The old dream of Evgeny Primakov, who envisioned the creation of a "strategic triangle Moscow-Beijing-New Delhi," came true. As it was designed by Primakov, one of the most important task of this "triangle" is to curb US influence. Moscow thinks that the most urgent issue right now is to fight together with the "triangle" members against "color revolutions" in Central Asia, supported by USA.
Although, yesterday’s official forum in Vladivostok was called the fourth informal tri-party meeting of the foreign ministers from Russia, China and India, in reality it should be named the first unprecedented event. The representatives of these three countries never gathered together for such a special agenda. The previous meetings were always attached to some official event, like in the UN, for instance. And now Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi decided to demonstrate the common interest uniting them and gather for that in Vladivostok.
Whole beginning of this week the officials in three capitals were insisting that the new bloc was not made to fight with anybody. "This meeting is not aiming to create a standoff with some country. All three of our countries are very important, we share views on regional and international issues," Li Zhaoxing explained this gathering. "It is evident that the interest of the three countries is to interact with each other in a transparent manner and it is not designed against somebody," Alexander Yakovenko, official representatives of Russian foreign ministry, wrote in Russian Newspaper right before the meeting.
In the mean time, it is well known that the idea of creating an external political alliance with Russia, China and India participation always had one goal -- to counter-balance the American power. The author of the idea was Evgeny Primakov. In the mid 1990s he was main propagandist of the "multi-polar" world. In the summer of 1998, while prime-minister, he proposed the creation of a "strategic triangle Moscow-Beijing-New Delhi". This idea was a reaction to another American anti-Iraqi operation "Desert Fox." Moscow decided, that by removing Saddam, Washington threatened Russia’s position in the UN, and warned about an asymmetric response. During his visit to India, Primakov offered to prime-minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to make friends together with China against the US.
In that time, the Russian prime minister idea did not find understanding in India or China. Several days after, the Chinese Foreign Ministry published a very cold statement, where it said that "Beijing is conducting its own independent policy and does not intend to join any type of bloc." One of the reasons Primakov’s idea failed was strained relations between China and India in that time. Besides, not one of these countries wanted to stand off publicly against the US. Even now, all three foreign ministers were underlining that the "trio" will be engaged mostly in tactical and non-political tasks, without any direct actions against Washington.
However, in the article of Yakovenko, published before the meeting, it was mentioned that Russia was the initiator of such meetings since 1998. Though, Yakovenko said, that geopolitical situation has changed since that time, but "the motivation uniting three our countries is still the same."
The main agenda in the Vladivostok meeting was the fight with the international terrorism. Moscow quickly figured out that this subject would be interesting to India, which is having a problem with Kashmir, and to Beijing, which is preoccupied with Uighur issues. The trio, while talking about the importance of anti-terrorism efforts, didn't forget to kick the US by saying that "the terrorism in all its forms and shapes and independent of its motives and roots, creates one of most serious threats to international peace and security. And the fight with this evil had to be fought without double standards."
While discussing the questions of opening on Sunday the summit of Shanghai Organization in Astana, the foreign ministers developed further the idea to fight American presence in the region. It is expected that in the summit, India, Iran and Pakistan will get the status of the observers within the organization. This can be considered as an response to a widely discussed American initiative to create some sort of regional organization in Central Asia without Russian, Chinese, Indian and Iranian participation.
Despite all three countries common interests to these issues, each of the foreign ministers had also his own dominating motives to come to Vladivostok. India, for instance, is preoccupied with oil supply from Russia, and also Moscow, as well as Beijing, to help it join the UN Security Council. To satisfy Indian interest, the ministers were talking about the necessity to totally reorganize UN including the Security Council.
Since recently, Moscow shares Beijing's concerns and interests in the security situation in Central Asia. After the "tulip revolution" in Kyrgyzia and events in Andijan, China is worried what is going on its borders. For that matter, Beijing responded on Moscow's call to joint the efforts in the fight with "color revolutions".
In fact, yesterday’s meeting in Vladivostok witnessed that Russia and China agree to create their own alliance to fight the "color revolutions" in Central Asia. The key words of support for this position were said by Lavrov. He stated that the uprising in Andijan was nothing else than "the operation of Islamic extremists, Taliban leftovers and some Chechen terrorists." Until now, nobody, even official Tashkent said that Chechen terrorists were demonstrating in the central square of Andijan and were shot by government troops. Speaking of Taliban leftovers, Lavrov was trying to heat up the Indian resolve. New Delhi always had negative attitude towards the Taliban and other Islam extremists.
By putting responsibility for Andijan events on international terrorists, Lavrov this way expressed the solidarity with official Beijing position. The China is a most ardent supporter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov with his "fight with terrorism," including the slaughter in Andijan. This step means that Russia is ready to share responsibility with China for everything that goes on in the region.
It is interesting, that right before the meeting in Vladivostok, the Chinese and Russian media (for example, the newspaper Hua Sheng Bao quoted the Foreign Office representative Luo Tianguang and Interfax agency quoted a high ranking official in Shanghai Organization) published that in the Osh, South Kyrgyzia, there could be Chinese military base pretty soon. Let's remind that on May 27 Kumanbek Bakiev, acting president told Kommersant that "if there will be a necessity, the military base in Osh can be created within the Organization of Collective Security (OCS) and Shanghai Organization of Cooperation (SOC)." First his words were understood as a hint about a possible increase of Russian military presence. One base already exists in Kant. Right then, many of fothe Russian officials were trying to brush off such idea. For instance, the Secretary General of OCS Nikolay Bordyuzha, said on a May 30 meeting in Bishkek, that he doesn't see the reason to create the base in Osh. Despite that, the extra military base issue in Kyrgyzia is still alive and well. If the SOC adopts such decision, than the Osh population will see Chinese military. That would be first step to create "counter-revolutionary" bastion of Moscow and Beijing, which would be protecting Central Asian regimes form the "color revolutions" and excessive American penetration into the region.
All the Article in Russian as of June 03, 2005