The announcement that the Brahmos supersonic missiles jointly produced by Russia and India will soon be exported to third countries that are on friendly relations with both increases the odds that their historic Vietnamese partners might receive these game-changing weapons.
“New Delhi’s Man In Moscow Is Right, Russia & India Are Global Partners“, and no sooner had the Indian Ambassador to Russia said that in a recent interview earlier this week than the announcement was made that the Brahmos supersonic missiles that they jointly produced will be exported to third countries that are on friendly relations with both of them. Although Sputnik reported at the beginning of the month that Thailand would probably be the first country apart from those two to take possession of these weapons, the outlet also reported a few months back that Southeast Asian nations such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore were interested in them too, as well as the Gulf countries (in clear reference to the GCC). There wouldn’t be anything controversial about any of those aforementioned nations receiving these game-changing arms, except perhaps the GCC ones that would obviously intend to use them against Iran in the event of a conflict (per Russia’s strategy of “balancing” the Islamic Republic all throughout the region), but it would be extremely significant if Moscow and New Delhi’s historic Vietnamese partners were to one day receive them as well.
That’s not too far-fetched of a prediction to make either after rumors have been floating around for the past couple of years that Hanoi is in the market for these missiles in order to defend its claims in the disputed waters of the South China Sea from Beijing. There’s a solid reasoning behind this possibility too, and it’s that a subsidiary of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft is drilling in the Lan Do oilfield that narrowly sits within the southwestern border of China’s nine-dash line but is apparently regarded by the company as being under Vietnam’s de-facto sovereignty, which thus gives Russia a natural interest in arming Vietnam in order to secure this “national champion’s” energy deposits by proxy. The precedent established by Russian Ambassador to India Nikolai Kudashev’s claim earlier this week that India’s unilateral moves in disputed Kashmir are an “internal matter” suggests that it would also regard Vietnam’s sale of oil blocks in the disputed waters of the South China Sea as similarly being an “internal matter” in the interests of consistency.