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Current Affairs


Date : Dec 08, 2021

Description :

Based on a News Article published in the ‘The Hindu’ on 07th December 2021 on Page Number 6


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  • The 21st annual India-Russia summit was recently held in New Delhi, and it included the first 2+2 ministerial meeting between India's foreign and defence ministers and their Russian counterparts.
  • This is the Russian President's first face-to-face bilateral meeting with any country since the outbreak of the pandemic, demonstrating that the two countries' long-standing ties are still as strong as ever.
  • However, the ongoing war between Russia and the West, as well as the lack of a robust business relationship between India and Russia, are preventing the two countries from restoring their bilateral relationship.


Diplomatic Relations between India and Russia:


  • India and Russia are partners in a number of organisations, including the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
  • India aided Russia's admission to the Indian Ocean Rim Association as a conversation partner, potentially giving Russia a key position in the Indian Ocean.
  • On the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Moscow, Russia also assisted Indian and Chinese Foreign Ministers in meeting and resolving the standoff in Ladakh.
  • Russia also downplayed its proximity to the former during a UNSC conference on maritime security, which was led by India.


Annual India-Russia Summit:


  • It is the highest-level institutionalised conversation mechanism in India-strategic Russia's cooperation.
  • The most recent summit saw the establishment of a new "two plus two" mechanism, which brings both sides' foreign and defence ministers together in a single platform.
  • A new 10-year defence treaty between the two countries is also being discussed.
  • Along with the United States, Japan, and Australia, Russia is the fourth country with whom India has established a joint structure.

Recent Défense Cooperation:


  • Russia supplies 65 percent of India's armed forces equipment, and India continues to rely on Russia for replacement parts.
  • Despite heavy US resistance, India purchased Russia's S-400 Triumf Missile.
  • A agreement with Russia for the production of AK 203 assault rifles worth over 5,000 crore is also in the works.
  • For the time being, India has dodged US restrictions on the purchase of S-400 missiles, but the US and China will continue to be concerned about India's growing defence ties with Russia.
  • India and Russia have more economic independence than the United States, but their failure to improve their trade connection has been striking.
  • The yearly commerce between India and Russia is only about $10 billion, while the latter's annual trade with China is a little more than $100 billion.
  • India's goods trade with the United States and China totals $100 billion.
  • India's Importance to Russia: Conflicts with the United States, Europe, and Japan have pushed Moscow closer to Beijing than it has ever been. Russia, on the other hand, is fully aware of the perils of relying only on a neighbour such as China.
  • While Moscow still has a lot of work to do in terms of mending its relations with the West, maintaining the traditional connection with India is politically important.
  • Issues in India-Russia Relations: India is cautious of Russia and China's expanding military collaboration, as well as their common opposition to the Indo-Pacific architecture.
  • Despite political concerns, India's trade with China continues to increase, whereas its trade with Russia remains stagnant despite excellent political relations.
  • Russian corporate leaders are drawn to Europe and China, whereas Indian firms are drawn to the United States and China.
  • Russia views the Quad as the 'Asian NATO,' and military alliances in Asia are seen as unhelpful by Russia.


Next Steps:


  • Befriending the Best Friend: If relations between Washington and Moscow improve, the structural restrictions posed by the great power dynamic and widely differing perceptions of the regional security situation could be eased.
  • For India, a less tense relationship between the two countries will be a big comfort.
  • Also, if India's relations with China were more peaceful and stable, the US-China power struggle or Russia's growing links with China would have been less of a concern.
  • Connecting with Russia's Far East: Another driver in the strategic alliance is connectivity, which has underlying business benefits as well as overall economic development.
  • Parallel to the multimodal International North-South Transport Corridor, the proposed Chennai–Vladivostok Maritime Corridor (CVMC) will bolster India's strategic intent in the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific region, with a naval presence securing India's energy and trade shipments from Russia's Far East.
  • Siberia, the Arctic, and the Far East have some of the world's greatest stocks of hydrocarbons, metallurgical coke, rare-earth metals, and precious metals.
  • India and Russia can collaborate with countries such as Japan and Korea to encourage collaborative exploration in the Far East, the Arctic, and Siberia.
  • Cooperation in the Energy Sector: Given the unknowns surrounding climate change, India's energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables should be accelerated.
  • Russia, as one of the most important global participants in the energy market, might become an essential partner in such a transformation.
  • Fortunately, both countries have a long history of bilateral collaboration in the energy sector, but additional efforts are obviously needed to extend it.
  • Taking Advantage of Multilateral Institutions to Improve Relations: Encourage mutually beneficial trilateral collaboration between Russia, China, and India, which could help to reduce mistrust and suspicion between the two countries.
  • The SCO and RIC trilateral forum must be used in this perspective.




  • Despite the fact that India and Russia are powerless to prevent each other from participating in business with their adversaries, neither Delhi nor Moscow have any cause to be content with the condition of their commercial ties.
  • To kick-start their relationship, India and Russia should focus on laying out a clear route for expanded economic cooperation and developing a deeper understanding of each other's Indo-Pacific priorities.

Tags : UNSC, two plus two

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