Russia`s Great Game in a nuclear South Asia

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Lost in the noise of Pakistan`s nuclear weapon tests in the western Baluchistan desert on 28 and 30 May was a surprising diplomatic move by Russia. On 23 May, Russia became the first state to express its willingness to recognize India as a nuclear-weapon state, provided that India commits itself to the international nonproliferation regime. Russia`s Ambassador to India, Albert Chernyshev, stated in the days after the Indian but before the Pakistani nuclear tests that ``India proclaimed itself a nuclear weapons power. One now hopes that India will behave as a nuclear weapons power by acting responsibly. Every nuclear weapons ... continued below

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3 p.

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Pilat, J.F. & Taylor, T.T. December 31, 1998.

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Description

Lost in the noise of Pakistan`s nuclear weapon tests in the western Baluchistan desert on 28 and 30 May was a surprising diplomatic move by Russia. On 23 May, Russia became the first state to express its willingness to recognize India as a nuclear-weapon state, provided that India commits itself to the international nonproliferation regime. Russia`s Ambassador to India, Albert Chernyshev, stated in the days after the Indian but before the Pakistani nuclear tests that ``India proclaimed itself a nuclear weapons power. One now hopes that India will behave as a nuclear weapons power by acting responsibly. Every nuclear weapons state has some rights. But for getting recognition it must have some obligations. Once it is ready to show these obligations by joining the nonproliferation regime, its recognition as a nuclear weapons power will follow.`` Russia`s Great Game in South Asia in pursuit of short-term economic and other interests appears to be a serious obstacle on the path to dealing effectively with the South Asian nuclear crisis. Grave damage to security, stability and nonproliferation has already resulted from India`s and Pakistan`s actions, but the situation does not have to spiral out of control. It is imperative that the international community respond appropriately to this challenge. The international community is at a crossroads and Russia`s actions will be critical. Will it be willing to go beyond the narrow economic and political calculations reflected in its diplomatic posturing, and take actions that will serve its long-term interests by bridging differences with other great powers in order to demonstrate to India that it has not chosen the right path. If Russia decides it can gain from India`s current, perilous path and blocks or otherwise frustrates appropriate responses, the nuclear danger on the subcontinent will escalate and the global regimes to promote nonproliferation and to ban testing will be seriously, perhaps fatally, weakened with unpredictable regional and global effects.

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3 p.

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OSTI as DE99001269

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  • Other Information: PBD: [1998]

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  • Other: DE99001269
  • Report No.: LA-UR--98-2480
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • DOI: 10.2172/296677 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 296677
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc688206

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  • December 31, 1998

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • May 23, 2016, 1:57 p.m.

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Pilat, J.F. & Taylor, T.T. Russia`s Great Game in a nuclear South Asia, report, December 31, 1998; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc688206/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.