India-Pakistan: April 8, 2000

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The British continue to pressure the US to make a strategic alliance with India, noting that it is likely to be a bigger market for American goods than China, having nearly the same population, better education, more people who speak English, and democracy. The US remains wary, however, because India has been and remains close to Russia and Iran, and the US would demand the breaking of those links as the price for a new strategic relationship. Russia has just announced a new strategic transportation corridor linking it to India through Iran. Containers from India leave its western ports on ships bound for Iran. The containers are then carried by truck from Iranian ports on the Arabian Sea to Anzali on the Iranian coast of the Caspian Sea. Boats then carry the containers to Astrakan, where they are loaded on Russian railroad cars or trucks to take them to Moscow or other Russian cities. After a successful test convoy, Russia said that the
route would be formally opened in April and would become a major trade corridor. The US is furious as it wants to cut Iran out of the Central Asian trade loop, but the only alternative shipping routes would go through Afghanistan, which is simply not possible at this time.--Stephen V Cole


 

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