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India-Russia Relations

Context: During the recently concluded meeting of the India-Russia Inter-governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological, and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC), both countries agreed to work towards unlocking the full potential of their economic engagement, including addressing trade deficit and market access issues.

Introduction to India-Russia Relations

  • Bilateral ties with Russia are a key pillar of India’s foreign policy.
  • India sees Russia as a longstanding and time-tested friend that has played a significant role in its economic development and security.
  • This longstanding and time-tested partnership is chiefly driven by shared interests of multilateralism, and global peace and prosperity. It follows the principles of:
    • Mutual trust;
    • Respect for each other’s territorial integrity and core national interests, and
    • Alignment of interests on the most critical international and regional issues of war and peace.

Brief Evolution of India-Russia Relations

Evolution of India-Russia Relations
Evolution of India-Russia Relations

Major Areas of Cooperation between India and Russia

Defence and Security Cooperation

  • Russia is a major supplier of defense items to Indian armed forces and both nations are in joint research, development and production of advanced defence items.
  • According to the latest SIPRI’s International Arms Transfers 2022 report, Russia continues to be India’s largest arms supplier.
  • In October 2018, India had signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems.
  • Both countries regularly conduct the Tri-Services exercise ‘INDRA‘.

Trade and Economic Cooperation

  • Bilateral trade between India and Russia touched $25 billion (2022) on account of increased purchase of discounted oil from Russia.
  • Bilateral investments between the two countries reached US$30 billion in 2018

Multilateral Cooperation

  • Russia supports India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council (UNSC) and membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
  • Also, both nations have an active engagement at:
    • International/Multilateral Organizations (e.g., BRICS and SCO).
    • Connectivity projects such as INSTC (International North-South Transport Corridor) etc.
  • It helps to act decisively against international terrorism and cooperate on matters such as drug trafficking, issues in Afghanistan etc.

Other Areas of Cooperation

  • Nuclear Energy: Russia is an important partner for India in the area of peaceful use of nuclear energy. 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.
    • Both India and Russia are implementing Rooppur Nuclear Power Project in Bangladesh
  • Space Cooperation: Russia has supported India’s space programme since its early days.
    • The Soviet Union launched India’s first unmanned satellite Aryabhata in 1975.
    • Today, Russia is supporting India’s1st manned space mission ‘Gaganyaan’.
  • Science and Technology: India-Russia relationship extends to the field of basic sciences as well including Russian-Indian Network (RIN) of Universities, Arctic and Antarctic research etc.

Challenges to India-Russia Relationship

Challenges to India-Russia Relationship
Challenges to India-Russia Relationship

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