07 Jun Indo Russia Geometry
(GS PAPER-2, DIPLOMACY
SOURCE- THE HINDU)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was in New Delhi on a two-day visit to India and held delegation level talks with his Indian counterpart.
Relations with Russia are a key pillar of India’s foreign policy, and Russia has been a longstanding time-tested partner of India.
Both countries signed “Declaration on the India-Russia Strategic Partnership” in October 2000.
Traditionally, the Indo-Russian strategic partnership has been built on five major components: politics, defence, civil nuclear energy, anti-terrorism co-operation and space.
Why Russia is Important for India?
- The historical character of the bilateral relationship.
- Even as India is diversifying its defense trade partners, Russia still dominates the Indian defense inventory to the tune of about 70 per cent.
- Russia remains the only partner that is still willing to give India critical technologies, such as a nuclear submarine.
- The emerging Russia-China strategic relationship has important security consequences for India.
- Russia also reaffirmed its “unwavering support” to India for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council.
- Russia expressed its support for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
- Both countries have mutual benefits in supporting struggle against terrorism, Afghanistan, climate change; organisations like SCO, BRICS, G-20 and ASEAN..
- Russia-India trade has not grown to great heights despite the encouragement of both states.
- Russia sees India – one of the fastest growing economies in the world – as a country that could alleviate Russia’s economic problems.
Make in India initiative has welcomed Russian companies from the public and private sectors.
- Russian firms have shown a willingness to invest in India in construction, major infrastructure projects such as dedicated freight corridors and industrial clusters, smart cities, and engineering services, sharing technologies and skills.
- Indian companies are exploring major investment options in Russia, especially in natural resources such as coal, fertilizers, hydrocarbons, minerals, and rare earth metals.
- Trade and investment relations are not up to the mark and this needs improvements.
- The Russia-India investments in the oil and gas sector and exports to third countries need to be energised.
- Russia is an important partner in peaceful uses of nuclear energy and it recognizes India as a country with advanced nuclear technology with an impeccable non-proliferation record.
- Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) is being built in India with Russian cooperation.
- New Delhi needs Moscow’s support in the former’s bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
- The Russians have backed the Indian position on Kashmir.
- India and Russia are engaged in several multilateral efforts that are greatly favoured by Russia such as the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
- Annual Summit meeting is the highest institutionalized dialogue mechanism under the Strategic Partnership
Issues of terrorism:
- Counterterrorism is another area where both countries find a convergence of interest.
- Both countries strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms, stressing the need for an effective global effort in dealing with the terrorist menace.
- They also called for the elimination, once and for all, of all terrorist “safe havens,” presumably referring to Pakistan.
- India and Russia also share concerns about the aggravation of the security situation in Afghanistan, including along its borders.
- India openly shared Russia’s concerns over developments in Syria.
- India’s stance on Syria will certainly help cement its ties with Russia countering the earlier feeling that India was not coming forward to support Russia in difficult times.
- There is a strong tradition of Indian studies in Russia.
- Apart from Hindi, languages such as Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Urdu, Sanskrit and Pali are taught in Russian Institutions.
- There is general interest among Russian people in Indian dance, music, yoga and ayurveda.
- There are regular cultural initiatives to promote people-to-people contacts between India and Russia
- India-Russian relationship is passing through an interesting phase.
- There are bilateral challenges that need to be overcome.
- The defense deals and nuclear energy cooperation should keep the India-Russia relationship afloat.
- India has to rebuild on its strengths and common concerns with the Russians.
- Need to focus on increasing trade and investment ties between India and Russia.
- India must attract Russian investors to tap the vast opportunities in India’s infrastructure space.