The management of contradictions, giving priority to the national interest, has been the main feature of the foreign policy of the Modi government. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India next month is a living example of this. The importance of the visit assumes greater importance in recent years, given India’s deteriorating relationship with China and its growing proximity to the US. This visit of President Putin will also put an end to the speculations that India-Russia bilateral relations have been relaxed due to the increasing proximity of India to America, membership of the Quad, increasing tension with China etc.
The importance of this visit during the Corona period can be gauged from the fact that this year it will be Putin’s second foreign trip. That too when the whole year is on the verge of ending. At the same time, it is also believed that the ‘Make in India’ campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India self-reliant, will also take wings from Putin’s visit. India has adopted a de-hyphenated policy with the US, China and Russia. India has shown that it is ready to strengthen its ties with the US as well as strengthen diplomatic ties with its tried-and-tested partner Russia.
India-Russia bilateral ties are getting stronger
There are many areas where the two countries are ready to work together, such as regional and global diplomacy, defense cooperation, working together on security issues, counter terrorism and energy. In view of this, the first week of December is very important, when Russian President Putin will be in New Delhi. After several important events, visits and meetings between the two countries in the past one year, Putin’s visit confirms that India-Russia bilateral ties are getting stronger. The summit will be the first 2+2 dialogue between the Defense and Foreign Ministers of the two countries. It will witness a significant upgradation of the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries.
So far, India has initiated the 2+2 dialogue format with its three quad partner countries – Australia, Japan and the US. Even before the summit, the supply of S-400 air defense systems to India from Russia has started. It will boost our military capabilities to target enemy fighter jets and cruise missiles at long range. India had signed a contract for 5 S-400 ballistic missile defense systems in 2018 ignoring US sanctions. The US wanted to impose sanctions against India on this contract, but the Modi government has resolved the issue to a great extent by making the current US administration aware of its security concerns. China already has this defense system and has deployed it in Tibet. This poses a big threat to India.
Russia participated in the talks held in India on Afghanistan
The summit with Russia assumes significance because of the enduring ties between the two countries, as Moscow has recently been seen siding with China instead of India on regional issues, especially the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban took power. Not only did Russia participate in the recent security talks organized by India and Pakistan on the Afghanistan issue, but China did not participate in the meeting organized by India to give importance to its ally Pakistan. Not only the neighboring countries, but the entire global community cannot ignore the threat emanating from the uncontrolled region of Afghanistan and Pakistan, which has been a stronghold of Islamic terrorists. The threat is so serious that it has led to the participation of the national security advisers of five Central Asian countries and Russia and Iran in the meeting in Delhi.
Putin’s visit will clear the way for UP’s development
The uniformity of views of these countries was underlined in the subsequent declarations. In this, it was ensured that the territory of Afghanistan was not used for terrorist attacks in neighboring countries and beyond. An inclusive government should be formed in Afghanistan, which respects the rights of minorities, women etc. Along with these issues, there will certainly be a discussion on promoting trade between the two countries during Putin’s visit to India. India-Russia bilateral trade has reached $ 8.1 billion in 2021, which will be considered to increase further. Russia is India’s largest partner in the defense sector under ‘Make in India’. For example, in the Defense Industrial Corridor project in Uttar Pradesh, the next generation BrahMos and other missiles will be manufactured in a modern production facility.
Not only this 4 projects, manufacturing and co-production of 1135.6 frigates, manufacturing in India the world’s most advanced assault rifle AK-203 through 100% indigenization, additional supply of Su-30MKI and MiG-29S fighter jets, ammunition Additional supplies of gunpowder and VSHORAD system are also on the agenda of both the countries. The AK-203 rifle is to be manufactured in the politically sensitive Amethi district of Uttar Pradesh. This will boost local employment there. The entire deal is worth Rs 5,124 crore. Both countries have increased cooperation in the fields of oil, natural gas, energy and petrochemicals, which needs to be further strengthened.
India-Russia relations based on trust between Modi and Putin
For the first time, India has announced a soft credit line of $1 billion to Russia to promote participation in domestic trade. Both countries are promoting the Chennai-Vladivostok Eastern Maritime Corridor to complement the North-South Corridor through Iran. They are also working on the Northern Sea Route, including the Arctic region, in which India and Russia are in special consultation. India-Russia relations are based on a high level of trust and rapport between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin. The convergence of interests of the two countries in addressing contemporary geopolitical, geo-strategic and geo-economic challenges, promoting regional, global peace and security will further enhance bilateral cooperation and partnership in the years to come.
(Author Dr. Mahendra Kumar Singh Assistant Professor Department of Political Science DDU Gorakhpur University)