Importance of India-Russia Relations
On the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, the Indian prime minister and Russian president discussed defense cooperation amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. India and Russia share a common interest in many areas and India needs to maintain healthy relations with Russia. This is important from an exam’s perspective and it may ask in exams like SSC, UPSC, Railways, State PSC, etc
Historical Relationship between India-Russia:
- Russia noted the Soviet Union’s support for India’s sovereignty over the disputed Portuguese coastal enclaves such as Kashmir and Goa. Even after Article 370 was repealed, Russia still supports India’s claim to Kashmir.
- The Soviet Union agreed to a technology transfer to jointly produce the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 jet fighter in India in 1962. However, the USSR rejected a similar move to China.
- India and USSR signed the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in 1971 during the Bangladesh Liberation War.
- Political affiliation: The annual summit meeting between the Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation is the premier institutionalized dialogue mechanism in the India-Russia strategic partnership. Until 2020, her 20 summits a year alternated between India and Russia. In 2019, Putin signed a presidential decree awarding the Indian Prime Minister the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Russia’s highest honour.
- Two intergovernmental committees – the Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) and the Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) – meet annually.
- Defence and Security: Military technology cooperation between India and Russia has evolved from a buyer-seller framework to include joint research, development, and production of advanced defence technologies and systems.
Mutual Projects of India and Russia include:
- BrahMos Cruise Missile System
- Sukhoi Su-30MKI program
- KA-226T twin-engine software helicopters
- Kamov Ka-226 is to be made in India under the Make in India initiative
- T-90S Bhishma
- INS Vikramaditya plane provider project
- S-400 Air Defense System
Russia additionally performs a completely essential function in helping the Indian Navy with its submarine packages:
- Indian Navy’s first submarine, ‘Foxtrot Class’ got here from Russia
- India is depending on Russia for its nuclear submarine project
- INS Vikramaditya, the only plane provider operated with the aid of using India, is likewise Russian in beginning
- Nine of the fourteen traditional submarines operated with the aid of using India are Russian
India-Russia Trade Relations:
The nations intend to boom bilateral funding to US$50 billion and bilateral exchange to US$30 billion with the aid of using 2025
In 2019, overall bilateral exchange among the 2 nations from January September 2019 stood at USD 7. fifty-five billion
From 2013 to 2016 there has been a first-rate decline withinside the exchange percentage between the 2 nations. However, it improved from 2017 onwards and a regular boom turned into observed in 2018 and 2019 as it properly
- About 20 Russian Institutions, consisting of main universities and schools, often educate Hindi to approximately 1500 Russian students. Apart from Hindi, languages including Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Urdu, Sanskrit, and Pali are taught in Russian Institutions.
- Indian dance, music, yoga, and Ayurveda are among the different pastimes that the humans of Russia enjoy.
Why is Russia important to India?
- Russia’s position in the international arena: Russia is the preeminent nuclear and energy power and will remain a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
- Multipolar world politics: As the world becomes increasingly multipolar, it is imperative that India simultaneously maintains close and strategic ties with Russia and the United States. A strong partnership with Russia gives India leverage to do business with other countries.
- UNSC permanent seat support: Russia has publicly said it would support India becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
- To Counter-Chinese Aggression: India has no choice but to maintain close ties with both the United States and Russia and manage its troubled relationship with China. As long as Russia’s relations with the West remain strained, Russia will keep an eye on China. As long as Sino-Indian relations are troubled, India will not be pleased if Russia enters China’s sphere of influence.
- India’s energy security: Russia has huge oil reserves. India sees Russia as an alternative energy source as the situation escalates in the Middle East over the threat to essential oil trade routes
What are the Challenges:
- Rapid Expansion of India-US Relations: This is one of the most cited reasons for tensions in India-Russia relations. The development of India’s defence cooperation with the United States has progressed rapidly since 2008. In 2014, the United States overtook Russia to become India’s largest arms supplier. In addition, India has also signed all basic agreements with the United States. LEMOA, COMCASA, BECA, etc.
As a result of these developments, Russia changed its decades-old policy and began supplying China with weapon systems such as the Sukhoi-35 and her S-400 missile interceptor system.
- Deep ties between Russia and China: Russia has already proposed a Russia-India-China (RIC) Foreign Ministers’ Forum. However, due to India’s unresolved issues with China, there will be no major diplomatic successes for the RIC. Sino-Russian relations are growing for mutual benefit against the United States. Intense geopolitical competition between China and the United States in the region. Russia, hostile to the United States, has allied with China. This becomes apparent when Russia joins China’s Belt and Road initiative.
- India and Russia continue to share common strategic grounds for their relationship.
- Apart from bilateral synergies, both sides are members of various multilateral organizations such as BRICS, RIC, G20, East Asia Summit, SCO, etc., and avenues exist for cooperation on issues of mutual interest.
- Overall, India, and Russia must learn to manage their relationship amid challenges arising from not only bilateral but also regional and global factors.
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