Russia and Pakistan recently held high-level talks on militancy and nuclear proliferation, a sign of warming relations following lingering Cold War antagonism. In an e-mail interview, Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, discussed Russia-Pakistan relations.
WPR: What has been the nature of Russia-Pakistan bilateral relations historically?
Dmitri Trenin: For decades, Moscow's relations with Pakistan have been mostly a function of Russia's relations with two major powers, the United States and India. During the Cold War, Pakistan aligned itself firmly with Washington, while New Delhi leaned toward Moscow. As an illustration of this dynamic, Soviet-era maps represented the whole of Kashmir as belonging to India. It did not help that Moscow's relations with China strained to the point of border conflicts even as Pakistan found a new friend in Beijing.