India Russia Relations

India’s Concerns With Russia 

Once “special and privileged strategic partnership” – present tilt towards China which has border disputes with India & close ties with Pakistan. Russia is also growing relations with Pakistan as it held its its first ever military exercises with Pakistan

  • Divergences between New Delhi and Moscow on terrorism emanating from Pakistan and Afghanistan
  • Russia did not back India’s demand to name two Pakistan-based terror groups as perpetrators of terrorism against India last year at the Goa BRICS summit
  • Russia favouring a role for the rebel Taliban in a future Afghanistan

On the other hand, Russia has been concerned at the rapidly warming ties between India and the US including the recent signing of a military logistics agreement.


Importance of India for Russia 

  • A market for its goods to bypass Western sanctions imposed after its power push in Ukraine.
  • India is a natural partner for Russia & have been tried & tested in tough situation like Ukraine Crisis
  • India still remains the biggest importer of defence equipment from Russia
  • India is still a vast market for Russian energy resources & hydrocarbons
  • Despite its renewed friendship with China, Russia will soon find itself in competition with it as Beijing regards itself as the new G2 along with the US. India can help provide the multi-polarity that Russia fiercely seeks

India Russia Relations

Importance of Russia for India

  • It can meet its abundant energy requirements at a cost-effective price
  • India still needs to collaborate with Russia to master future technology in defence & space
  • India needs support of Russia to pursue nanotechnology on grand scale; an expertise of Russia worldwide
  • It improves India’s bargaining power when it negotiates arms sales with the West
  • Geopolitically, Russia continues to be a balancing force against China & Pakistan in our region.
  • Russia can be a major market for Indian industry such as pharmaceuticals, manufactured goods, dairy products, bovine meat and frozen seafood
  • Joint projects on exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Arctic shelf of Russia
  • Support for India’s bid for permanent membership in UNSCl and NSG


Russia- Pakistan Relations

Pakistan after independence joined western military block by signing SEATO & CENTO, thus making Pakistan and Russia Cold War rivals. However, only recently in 2014 Russia lifted its self-imposed arms embargo on Pakistan and signed a landmark military cooperation agreement.

  • Both the countries share a common threat i.e. Islamic State of Iraq and Levant
  • Increased coordination on combating Narcotic Trade
  • Handing over of Chechen Terrorist by Pakistan to Russia
  • Pakistan has offered Russia to use the new Gwadar port.
  • Russia which currently faces several sanctions after its aggression in Ukraine, is set to find new market for its defence equipment in Pakistan
  • Russia understands Pakistan’s crucial role in establishing resolving civil war in Afghanistan through dialogue with Taliban


Russia’s change in stance is evident of its re-energised role in Afghanistan. It can be seen as a positive step towards establishing peace in the neighbourhood. However, India should explore other sector of cooperation with Russia such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, food processing etc. to improve its trade prospects. The General Framework Agreement for Kundankulam is still pending, India should move fast to safeguard its energy needs. Changing Geo-Political situation across Asia makes it important for India to balance its ties between US and Russia well, to maintain its leadership role in South-Asia.

India Yearbook English India Yearbook Hindi Economic Survey 2017

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