International Relations

Indo-Russia: Strengthening Old Ties

The premiers of India and Russia met and initiated a high level conversation which focused on defence and counter-terrorism.

Analysis

  • The news focused on Indo-Russia defence cooperation and steps taken for counter-terrorism. It was also significant because it discussed about the security situation in Afghanistan.
  • There was a strategic dialogue between India and Japan aimed at regional connectivity, economic partnership, healthcare, maritime security, new and digital technologies.
  • Russia is India’s biggest arms supplier with a trade of approximately $10 billion. There is recent purchases of S-400 Air defence system included.
  • Russia’s proximity with China in economic context is increasing. They are planning to form a common currency for ease of trade.
  • They also agreed to continue their close consultation at UN, BRICS, SCO and other multinational organisations.
  • Putin also reiterated the invitation to the annual eastern Economic forum in September 2019.

Defence deals and Exercises in the Past:

  1. 68% of India’s military hardware import comes from Russia.
  2. A permanent Indo-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on military and technical cooperation (IRIGC)
  3. Under Make in India, signed agreement for naval frigates, KA-226T twin-engine utility helicopter, and BrahMos cruise missile.
  4. In 2012, a deal worth $2.9 billion for 42 Sukhoi to be produced under license by defence PSU HAL.
  5. S400 Triumf, T-90 Bhishma, Akula-II, INS Vikramaditya and Farkhor Air Base in Tajikistan is jointly operated by IAF and Tajikistan Air Force.

COMMENTS:

  • Both countries share a common view on terrorism and are working to combat and ultimately finish it.
  • Defence ties along with diplomatic and economic relations are the pivot in affairs of two countries.
  • India imported ~0.9% from Russia amounting to $6.2 billion while exported $3.1 billion. Thus a trade deficit still remains on our side.
  • A free trade agreement would bolster trade between Russia and Eurasian Economic Union.
  • Terror combat being a costly task, both countries have to stabilize their economies.
  • Also, we should maintain good relations with Russia to counter Chinese influence in Asia.
  • Focus on Research and development in Defence, Science and technology specifically should be looked forward to.

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