India-Russia Strategic Partnership: The Way Forward

By Siksha Singh                                                                                                                                               Image:

India-Russia Strategic Partnership: The Way Forward

India and Russia have had decade’s old privileged friendship based on trust and mutual interests. A relationship which has been nurtured with utmost care and precision over the years. Russia’s unflinching support for India on Kashmir issue where it helped veto the Kashmir issue and also extended its unsolicited help during the 1971 Bangladesh war is also a notable mention. In the initial years post-independence, the former Soviet Union came to India’s rescue by lending hand to develop its core industries which were at a nascent stage. India also owes a great deal to Moscow for its scientific and technological development. Moscow and New Delhi are committed to developing a multipolar world order despite having a different interpretation of its characterisation.

Recently Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Sochi as part of an informal summit and had wide-ranging talks on issues ranging from defence cooperation, military and international issues having a significant bearing on both of their economies. The meeting was seen as a high point since the relations have not seen a positive trend in recent years. Russia’s cold response to Dokalam crisis did not instil much enthusiasm and confidence in South Block.  There are several reasons which have contributed to strained relations between the two.

First is Russia’s growing bonhomie with China post-Ukraine Crisis and its sale of Su-30 30MKK/MK2 fighters especially Su-35 along with S-400 long-range anti-aircraft missiles which have led to Sino-Indian military imbalance. Russia has been reeling under economic sanctions and therefore considers China as a more suitable partner for solutions to its economic woes.

Second are India’s efforts to forge military deals with France, Israel and United States. Recent years have seen the United States and Israel become the largest defence trade partners of India overtaking Russia which has had a detrimental impact on the ties. India should not undermine Russia’s importance as far as other critical infrastructures like nuclear submarines are concerned. Diversifying its nuclear arsenals through procurement from other nations may irk Russia which can hamper our national security as well.

Third and most pivotal is India’s growing propinquity to the United States of America which has not gone down well with the Russian bureaucracy. However, India allayed Russia’s fear when the Indian Prime Minister gave a feisty speech at Shangri La Dialogue earlier this year reaffirming the cherished and nuanced positioning of India on International issues as well as independent decision making without external manoeuvring.

These issues have resulted in a rough patch, therefore, India needs to do a fine balancing act. The good part is India knows that pragmatism and balance of power are the keys while handling its foreign policy, In respect of major power blocs like Russia since strategic ties with Moscow are very crucial for India, as 70% of our defence inventory is dominated by Russian systems. What should underline our continued strategic overreach with the former Soviet nation are the civil nuclear energy, defence cooperation and efforts to bring to fruition agreements for Oil and natural gas from Russia. India should make sincere efforts to solicit Russian cooperation to ensure its own strategic interests as losing out on an ally like Russia would not bode well for long-term Indian interests.

About the Author

Siksha Singh is a member of the Information Services team at MitKat Advisory Services. 

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions represented in this blog are of the author and do not represent those of MitKat. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.

Published On - Jun 22,2018


©2017 MitKat Advisory Services Pvt Ltd. All right Reserved

Made With Passion:crisis management

Join the Conversation