India Russia Summit 2021: Development, Significance & Challenges

Date:

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in India for India Russia Summit, 2021. Both sides are expected to discuss various political, economic, strategic and geopolitical issues.

Overview

On the 6th of December 2021, Putin met Prime Minister Modi for the India Russia Summit 2021, to discuss opportunities for cooperation across multiple fields. President Putin expressed deep concerns over power dynamics in Afghanistan where recently the civilian government was overthrown by the Taliban, A terrorist organization.

He stressed the need for India Russian cooperation to combat terrorism and drug trafficking. During the bilateral meet with PM Modi at New Delhi, Putin Said,

“We continue to cooperate on global agenda and share common perspectives on issues like terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime etc. Hence, it is natural that we both are concerned about developments in neighbouring Afghanistan.”

He further added that India is a great power, friendly country, and time-tested friend. PM Modi said, “Despite changing geopolitical situations, relations between India and Russia have always remained warm.”

2+2 meeting

Joint statement released after 2+2 (Minister of Defense and Minister of External Affairs of India and Russia) meet stated-

“Afghan soil shall not be used to shelter, train, finance terrorist groups and activities.”

Both sides also agreed to support Joint manufacturing of defense spare parts, components of Russia origin arms in India under Make in India. 2+2 meeting concluded a contract to manufacture 6 Lakh AK-203 Rifles under Joint venture at Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.

The signing of the agreement will strengthen the defense cooperation between both countries. In order to meet the needs of the Indian Armed Forces, it will include-

  • technology transfer
  • setting up joint ventures

During the 2+2 dialogue, Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defense, raised the issue of Chinese aggression at Ladakh. Singh said,

During the pandemic, militarization at our northern borders and unprovoked aggression have posed challenges to India, and we are confident of overcoming it.”

India and Russia relations

  • Russia also started supplying the S 400 Defense system to India, which is expected to complete by the end of December 2021. Along with it, both sides signed the Agreement for Military Technology Cooperation, 2021 – 2031. On one hand, at the India Russia Summit 2021, India briefed Russia on the situation at Ladakh, and on the other, Russia informed India about developments at the Ukrainian border.
  • Indo Russia relations goes back decades. Russia extended technical and financial aid when India was in its initial stages of development. India followed the socialist model of growth in the early years of independence.
  • Russia holds immense significance given its access to 3 regions viz. Eurasia, Central Asia and Pacific. India and Russia have been cooperating in various fields. Overall bilateral trade touches $ 10 Billion; Russia is among the top defense suppliers to India, Russia, and Japan has an institutional mechanism for the development of Far East Russia.
  • Recently, Chennai Vladivostok Eastern Maritime Corridor was opened to enhance commercial relations and aid the development of East Russia. The geographic location of Russia holds a significant role in the success of the International North-South Trade Corridor (which connects the Indian subcontinent with Europe via West Asia and Russia).
  • Establishment of the Kundakulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu, the largest nuclear power plant in India, is supported by Russia. Several issues are hindering full-fledged Indo Russian cooperation.
  • Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act impeded the delivery of the S 400 Defense system, which is critical to defending our northern borders from adversaries like China and Pakistan.

Bonhomie’s of Russia with China and Pakistan attracts criticism from Indian intellects. Both China and Pakistan leave no leaf unturned to obstruct India’s interests.

The growing intimacy of Russia – China – Pakistan (especially after the Afghan crisis), makes India uncertain about Russia. Russia holds not have such a positive approach towards the QUAD of India, USA, Japan and Australia and sees it as the Asian version of NATO. All QUAD members are now at odds with China and China Russia cooperation (Defense, Commercial, Political) is growing day by day.

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