India – Russia relations are moving from multi-dimensional association to uni-dimensional association with focus on defence procurement. Critically analyse.
India Russia relations have remained an important aspect of India’s foreign policy, covering multi-faceted spheres having similar security, Political and Economic Interests
The Multi-dimensional relations between India and Russia existed in following forms:
- Both countries signed the ‘Strategic Partnership’ in the year 2000, where the two countries closely collaborated on matters of shared National Interests at the forums of UN, BRICS, G20 and SCO Bilateral trade between both countries is concentrated in key value chain sectors, with both governments having set a target of $30 billion by 2025
- Russia has stated it will co-operate with India on its “Make in India” initiative by engagement in the development of “Smart Cites”
- India is currently the world’s largest cutting & polishing centre for diamonds. Both countries have agreed to streamline their bilateral trade in diamonds through reductions in regulations and tariffs.
- The Russian company, and Gas Authority of India have collaborated in joint development of a block in the Bay of Bengal. Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project
- Space cooperation has been existent between two countries, right form Russian launching ‘Aryabhata’, to the recent ‘Chandrayaan 2’ mission.
- The ongoing collaboration in the field of science & technology, under the Integrated Long-Term Programme of Co-operation (ILTP) is the largest co-operation programme in this sphere for both India and Russia.
- Both countries have been cooperating on the ”North-South Transport Corridor” for easy movement of freight between two countries.
The association now turning to focus on defence procurement:
- The two countries’ military-technical cooperation has shown extraordinary levels of depth over the years.
- Russia did provide India an entire platform for military production-from aircraft to tanks.
- In the 1980s, the then unprecedented lease of a nuclear-powered submarine by the Soviet Union to India served as a reminder of the unique strategic trust shared by the two countries.
- Russia supplied 68% of India’s arms.
- India -Russia have deepened their Make in India defence manufacturing cooperation by signing agreements for the construction of naval frigates, KA-226T twin-engine utility helicopters and Brahmos cruise missile.
- In October 2018, India inked the historic agreement worth US$5.43 billion with Russia to procure four S-400 Triumf surface- to-air missile defence system, ignoring the America’s CAATSA Act.
- Thus, today after three decades since collapse of Soviet Union, the military technical cooperation between India and Russia has gone up tremendously. While the growth in other sectors continue to show lesser growth.
Hence, India and Russia seem to be sharing a common strategic goal of trying to build a multipolar or Polycentric International system, with increasing defence ties.