The Director of the MIT Security Studies Program, Prof. M. Taylor Fravel: “The (Vostok-2022) Exercises Appear to Be Designed to Showcase Russia’s Central Asian Leadership.”

Photo Credit: ANKASAM

It is expected that India will participate in the multi-national military exercise Vostok-2022, which will be held in Russia and China will also take part. It is stated that India, whose role in the exercises is expected to be limited at the level of the strategic command and military personnel, will also stay away from the maritime division in order not to harm Japan’s interests.

In recent years, India has regularly participated in exercises by the United States and its allies. However, last year, India participated in Russia’s Zapad-2021 exercises together with China. This is interpreted as an effort that India try to make its foreign policy to more dimensional.

From this point of view, Ankara Center for Crisis and Policy Studies (ANKASAM) presents the views it received from Prof. M. Taylor Fravel, the Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Security Studies Program, in order to evaluate Russia’s Vostok-2022 exercises as well as the role of China and India in the drills

1. Do you think the military cooperation between China and Russia will increase further after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan?

China-Russian cooperation has been increasingly slowly but steadily over the past decade. This Pelosi visit is unlikely to alter this trajectory

2. Could you evaluate the participation of India and China in “Vostok-2022” exercises within the scope of Central Asia and Indo-Pacific geopolitics?

The exercises appear to be designed to showcase Russia’s Central Asian leadership, by inviting mostly CA and adjacent states.

3. While the tension between India and China on the border is still alive, how will these two countries come together? Can we interpret the coming exercise as “an effort to create a multipolar world”? Do you agree with this idea?

India has its own reasons for participating, as does China. I don’t think the exercises can be described as an effort to create a multipolar world.

4. What does Russia aim at by getting China and India together in the same exercises? Do you think Russia is trying to show its muscles against the US after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan?

My hunch is that India’s participation allows Russia to showcase differences within the West over the invasion of Ukraine. It likely has little to do with China.


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