This commentary attempts to put into perspective the recent developments in India–Australia bilateral ties.
Though India would be keen to expand defence cooperation on a one-to-one basis with Australia, especially on counter-terrorism and maritime security issues, it is likely to remain averse to joining any regional security grouping directed against China.
Concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programmes, Australia has blocked the shipment of dual-use equipment to Pakistan on at least three occasions during the past two years.
Prime Minister Gillard's decision to reverse the uranium export policy not just indicates a dramatic shift in Australia’s strategic outlook, but also could endow a decisive fillip to its crisis-hit uranium industry.
A continuation of Australia’s ban on the sale of uranium to India is likely to hinder the goal of building a strategic partnership and exploring complementarities in the defence and maritime domain.
A ‘Labor government with Independent-Green characteristics’ will have an impact on the government’s style of functioning and might lead to changes in the very core of Australia’s domestic and foreign policy orientations.
To distance herself from the adverse fallout of the unpopular policy decisions taken by Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard has decided to seek a fresh mandate from the electorate.
While there is no denying the fact that Rudd’s ideas on foreign policy were well-intentioned, one cannot possibly overlook the fact that it all fell apart in the course of practice.
Australia is not finding it economically prudent and diplomatically rational to deny uranium to India, while other countries profit from nuclear commerce with India.