The Moscow-based political analyst Andrew Korybko has said that strong diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Russia will help keep balance of power in South Asia, which has very much been disrupted after the United States boosted its defense ties with India.
In an exclusive interview with Dispatch News Desk (DND) news agency in Islamabad, Andrew Korybko said that in recent years, the diplomatic coordination between Russia and Pakistan has picked up to the point where relations in general between both the Countries have also accelerated. The interview was conducted by Chief Editor DND News Agency Agha Iqrar Haroon.
Andrew Korybko is a political analyst, journalist and a regular contributor to several online journals, as well as a member of the expert council for the Institute of Strategic Studies and Predictions at the People’s Friendship University of Russia. He specializes in Russian affairs and geopolitics, specifically the US strategy in Eurasia. He also works for State-run Sputnik News and hosts a show Trendstorm in Sputnik Radio
Andrew Korybko was of the view that Pakistan-Russia relationships got a massive leap in October 2016 when Russia and Pakistan conducted joint military drills.
“That was also repeated in 2017 in Russia and what was important about that is both the Countries have experience fighting ISIL or ISIL-like terrorists, and they were sharing that with one another. For example Russia’s experience in Syria is very useful for Pakistan because it’s a different terrain, it’s a dessert. However, Pakistan’s experience fighting against ISIL-like terrorists along the Afghan border is very useful for Russia because of the mountainous terrain. This is applicable in Chechnya and in the northern Caucasus republics that are threatened by the same type of terrorism. Now relations have proceeded to the point where it is realistic to speak about the economic cooperation and also the energy cooperation. Taking together, both parties are beginning to form a solid diplomatic relationship that is able to rebalance the threatening instability in South Asia from India’s very pro-American tilt. By Pakistan becoming very friendly with Russia which is not aimed against India and vice versa, this allows Russia to balance the region and keep some type of geo-political harmony”, added Korybko.
When asked about what he thinks about the future of Afghanistan, Andrew Korybko said that it’s very difficult to tell because the Country’s problems are provoked from abroad but there are a lot of internal factors that create a self-sustaining cycle of violence.
“So it’s very difficult to move pass that, and at the same time, the current Afghan authorities are perceived as being more pro-Tajik, and I think that crease some serious cleavages in the society. At the same time, though I think if there was some serious intention on behalf of the Unites Stats to allow the Taliban to participate in the political process, and to negotiate directly with the Taliban like their movement has wanted to do because they refuse to discuss things through Kabul because they view it as proxy occupational authority. I think we can possible see some progress but right now it is speculative because Donald Trump made it very clear that he intends to stay in Afghanistan and wipe out the Taliban. I don’t see the US is sincerely trying to advance peace in the Country because their national interest, as they perceive it, is best served by retaining an in-depth presence in a Country that borders Pakistan, Central Asia, Iran and China”, commented Andrew Korybko.