The Straits Times says

A summit meeting of lost opportunities

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The Sept 15-16 meetings in Samarkand, where leaders of Russia, China and India held consultations on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Dialogue, offered a tantalising glimpse of the equations between nations that could have altered the trajectory of the Ukraine war and more. But the summit in Uzbekistan did not yield much hope that the war, which has caused tens of thousands of deaths and raised the cost of living across the world, is close to a resolution. Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged, unexpectedly, that both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had aired concerns about the war. But little else came to light, especially from deeper discussions in the private bilateral meetings between leaders.

It can be assumed, however, that while Beijing's "no limits" partnership with Moscow may have some limits, China is not about to distance itself from Russia and concede its place as the world's largest importer of Russian fossil fuels. Nor is New Delhi likely to rewrite relations with Moscow. India is among the top 10 consumers of Russia's energy products and may well be on the path to increasing that share. Amid an ongoing border conflict with China, India, the world's biggest arms importer, is unlikely to break links with Russia, its most important supplier. Still, the meetings had implications for two flashpoints in the Indo-Pacific.

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