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60 Russians join Modi in the US blacklist

Washington has reportedly put some 60 Russians on its visa ‘blacklist’ for alleged involvement in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer working for an American firm, in police custody in Russia in 2009. It is surely a much harsher move than what the US did to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. How Moscow is going to react and whether Washington would press ahead with the visa ban or would cave in due to the ‘assymetrical’ retaliation the Russians have threatened will be useful to know in the coming weeks. There is a strange parallel, too. The US slammed the visa ban on Modi just as the NDA government declared that India and US were ‘natural allies’. The visa ban on the Russians also comes at the high noon of the historic US-Russia ‘reset’.

But unlike the NDA leadership, the Kremlin doesn’t seem to take the American move lightly. Of course, the Magnitsky case, although a celebrated case for human rights activists all over the West, is not a patch on the Gujarat riots in its sheer horror and explosive bestiality. Magnitsky was apparently denied medical care for pancreatitis while in jail and was probably beaten up. All the same, it is interesting that the US came down like a ton of bricks slamming visa ban on 5 dozen Russian officials, including some politicians. Whereas, they just singled out Modi to atone for all the sins of the Gujarat riots.

The Russians are already discussing loudly where and when they could retaliate. A whole lot of choices seem to be avaiable — North Korea, Afghanistan, Libya, Iran etc. Simply put, Russians may refuse to cooperate with the Barack Obama administration unless the US retracted from the visa ban. Alas, in the case of Modi, US-India strategic partnership simply gallopped from strength to strength since 2002 and no one in Delhi in the BJP or Congress seemed to care that the chief minister cannot visit the US in a lifetime.

But then, Russian-American relations have a long,checquered history. Nothing that happens on the play field is ever forgiven or forgotten. Everything is on the basis of strict reciprocity. You kick me, I’ll kick you back. Although Moscow too, like Delhi, has its fair crop of Russian elites who day in and day out eat out of the hands of American diplomats, when it comes to the sweep of Russian-American relationship, things are measured carefully in coffee spoons. All the same, Russians have to move carefully in any rataliation. What can happen is that other countries in the West may follow the US move, which will bring about an ugly confrontation between Moscow and the West. In the case of Modi at least, a chain reaction didn’t happen. Delhi acted prudently; it didn’t retaliate and make the Modi visa ban a cause celebre. It just let the matter rest as something strictly between Modi and the Americans.

Posted in Diplomacy.

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6 Responses

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  1. iyervp says

    It really does not matter, the banning of Modi. Ford is coming to Gujarat. Howsoever, the future Indians judge Modi, the fact remains that he has brought unrivalled prosperity to Gujarat and the numbers are showing. The Americans are shameless when it comes to pushing forward their interests. They have no qualms. The human rights doublespeak is only a tool in the hands of the Americans to browbeats opponents. See what the WMDs spin doctoring of Bush did to Iraq and the Middle East.
    Any how reading Shri Bhadrakumar’s is always a pleasure and I look forward to his articles full of erudition and wit.

  2. Sameer Bhagwat says

    It is an open fact that Hindutva elements have infiltrated the corporate America at an alarming rate under the guise of “Indian Diaspora” as if India is only a Hindu nation where as in reality it is amotley mix of Hindus , Muslims , Christians , Sikhs , Jews Parsis , Bahais , Aboriginals , Dalits, and Adivasis etc… where as the so called “upper castes ” of India taking advantage of the previliges given to them in India have migrated to the USA and using the naive people of USA as a means to their sinister aim of seeking the destruction of religious minorities in India.

  3. km3000 says

    Beggars cannot be choosers. Indians are the beggars of American Technology. No wonder, Americans will behave rudely with Indians. No wonder, so many Indians throng to American shores for job and easy life. No wonder, Indian leadership, devoid of any national pride, ignores development of its citizens life-style, instead pandering to quota-rule. No major national infrastructure program has been initiated, no major restructuring of Indian Scientific capabilities has taken place since last 30-40 years. That’s a cause for big shame. A note to Americans, their belief in denial of rights, makes them similar to caste system practiced during old days in India by Brahmins. Americans will find out the hard way the cost of denial of equal status and respect for everyone.

  4. junei says

    Henry Kissinger knew about the Pakistani Army having been ordered to Commit a whole sale slaughter and ethnic cleansing of East Pakistani Bengali Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Shias and Sufi East Pakistani Bangali muslims.
    But not only he remained quiet but encouraged the West Pakistani Army and Government..
    To make matters worse Henry Kissinger received a Nobel Prize for peace when 25 lakh Bangali Hindus and 5 Lakh Unarmed Bangali Muslims were slaughtered.
    Is this the country of USA that judges Modi who was falsely set up by Christian Press that rules India with re colonisation agenda.

  5. shilpy says

    ms. vijayalakshmi ji is verifiably right. usa could have cared less one way or the other vis-a-vis gujarat riots. india has had many riots, and usa has not cared. that’s is a fact. the people behind modi’s visa were the subvesrive groups that she has identified in her post. i have known some of these venal elements who are in bed with the missionary lobby in usa which could, and did, mover levers in the evangelical bush administration. at the end modi was denied not because of the riots but because the missionaries are not given a free pass in conversions in gujarat, unlike in tamil nadu. if you want to know why hillary clinton made a special visit to tamil nadu, look no further than the fact that tn is the hotbed of conversions.

  6. Vijayalakshmi says

    To hell with the USA, which is generally perceived to be the greatest terrorist in the whole world! The denial of visa to Mr.Narendra Modi was at the behest of the anti-BJP lobby in the US, comprising Islamists,Crosstians and Marxists.

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