From Pyongyang To Beijing: The Emergence Of The 'Putin Pact' Raises Global Concerns

From Pyongyang To Beijing: The Emergence Of The 'Putin Pact' Raises Global Concerns

Building a formidable global image is a craft that some leaders achieve with greater ease than others. Indian prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin are good examples.

Afrida Rahman AliUpdated: Friday, June 21, 2024, 04:57 PM IST
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From Pyongyang To Beijing: The Emergence Of The 'Putin Pact' Raises Global Concerns | Facebook

Building a formidable global image is a craft that some leaders achieve with greater ease than others. Indian prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin are good examples. Despite being stripped off absolute majority and made dependent on allies, Modi continues to operate as if nothing has changed.

The first sign of this was visible in alloting minsiterial berths where there was no indication of any molly-coddling of allies. The message was supposed to be clear- majority or no majority, its business as usual in Modi sarkar. How far this optimism will sustain itself remains to be seen but the idea is to continue to project a veneer of invincibility, so that there's no perceptible depletion in public image.

Playing the same perception game with panache is Ruissian President Vladimir Putin. First his visit to China last month, where Chinese premier Xi Jinping made his guest welcome. He rolled out the red carpet, with band playing old Red Army songs, and cheering children greeting both leaders as they strolled through Tiananmen Square.

There was also a perfunctory hug for the cameras. Its a no-brainer that was supposed to be a show of strength. It was a chance for the Russian president to prove to the world that he has a powerful ally in his corner. Following that Putin's visit to North Korea last week where the Russian president met with a rapturous welcome in Pyongyang.

A state reception was accorded by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and and the pair signed a new mutual cooperation treaty that was sure raise eyebrows given its provisons of mutual assistance in case of conflict. This is being touted as a NATO-style defense pact that commits to 'military assistance with all the means at its disposal'. What has raised the heckles about the pact is that it contains a clause similar to NATO’s Article V which promises military help at a time of escalating face-offs.

The elephant in the room therefore is- Has Russia’s nuclear deterrent now extended to North Korea? Putin's latest sojourn had one more stopover in Vietnam where again the optics were directed towards demonstrating diplomatic support Russia enjoys in East Asia.

Putin makes a virtue of engaging with an international Pariah like North Korean president Kim Jong Un, or for that matter enlisting the support of a country like Vietnam thats heavily dependent on western nations for its exports. Even as US criticized these visits denouncing what it calls 'giving a platform to Putin's aggression'.

But for the Russian President this serves to send a reminder to US and Europe that he is not alone and with China, North Korea and possibly Vietnam in its corner, it has allies with a common agenda that can stand up to what he calls 'Western imperialism'.

What this latest episode of Putin's visit to East asian countries has signalled is a anti west alignment that is fast taking shape and form. Will this be a formidable counterweight to the western forces, only a war that nobody wants, will be able to prove. Until the, its a game of optics.

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