In what should be read as a sign of growing warmth between Islamabad and Moscow, a top Russian nuclear researcher has said that India has little chance of defending itself from a “possible” Pakistani nuclear strike.
Undermining India’s efforts to ramp up its arsenal, Petr Topychkanov, senior researcher at the Carnegie Moscow Centre’s Non-Proliferation Programme, said that India’s defence expenditure and weapons acquisition will prove to be futile if Islamabad decides to enter a nuclear war with New Delhi.
Topychkanov made the following statement in Islamabad:
It should be noted here that on May 15 India tested its indigenously developed AAD supersonic interceptor missile designed to take down hostile ballistic missiles from afar.
A peeved Pakistan said it would raise the matter at the international level.
At the same time, India might soon acquire the Russian-made six S-400 Triumf, considered one of the world’s best missile defence systems.
Yet, as reported by Dawn, Topychkanov is of the opinion that India won’t be able to thwart a nuclear strike from Pakistan despite the S-400s and the strong cooperation between India and Israel on ballistic missile defence system.
At the same time the Russian nuclear researcher said that India’s entry into the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) should be looked at with caution.
This view comes despite the fact that it was only China – a Pakistani ally – which blocked India’s entry to the group.
“The nuclear waiver given to Indian became a very important part of the lesson for the international community because Delhi did not give a lot in exchange, it didn’t change policies and approaches,” he said.
He underlined Russia’s growing defence cooperation with Pakistan stating that Moscow intends to keep good relations with both New Delhi and Islamabad.
Russia and Pakistan signed a major military chopper deal in 2015 for the purchase of Mi-35 attack helicopters.
Russia, a traditional ally of India’s, has shown signs of drifting away from New Delhi given the latter’s increasingly strengthening bond with Washington.
India and the US are working steadfastly towards building a robust strategic partnership. A deal worth $3 billion to acquire a fleet of the world famous Apache attack helicopters and a Chinook heavy lift choppers has been signed.
US is also technologically helping India build the latter’s aircraft carrier INS Vikrant and proposed supercarrier INS Vishal. Besides India is set to purchase 145 BaE Systems M777 ultra-light howitzers for Rs.2,900 crore from the US.
In fact the US is increasingly gravitating away from its traditional ally Pakistan given the latters close ties with Beijing.