Historical Relations

  • In 1965 the Soviet Union served successfully as peace broker between India and Pakistan after an Indian-Pakistani border war.
  • A cordial relationship with India that began in the 1950s took off with a visit by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the Soviet Union in June 1955 and Khrushchev’s return trip to India in the fall of 1955.
  • India signed with the Soviet Union the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in August 1971.
  • Rajiv Gandhi visited the Soviet Union on his first state visit abroad in May 1985 and signed two long-term economic agreements with the Soviet Union.

Why Russia is strategically  important to India ?

  • India can meet its abundant energy requirements at a cost effective price.
  • It improves India’s bargaining power when it negotiates arms sales with the West.
  • Geopolitically, Russia continues to be a balancing force against China and Pakistan may have in our region.
    Russia organized a trilateral meeting among the foreign ministers of India, China, and Russia following deadly clashes  in the Galwan Valley in the disputed territory of Ladakh.
  • Development of New Sectors of Economic Engagement: Apart from  traditional areas of cooperation such as weapons, hydrocarbons, nuclear energy, and diamonds, new sectors of economic engagement are likely to tie up — mining, agro-industrial, and high technology, including robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology.

Why India is strategically important for Russia ?

  • Balancing China: However, Russia repeatedly reiterates that it does not see itself as anybody’s junior partner. That’s why Russia wants India to act as a balancer.
  • Reviving Eurasian Economic Union: Russia seeks to leverage India’s soft power to gain legitimacy in the success of the Eurasian Economic Union, and re-establishing its hegemony, as it existed during the cold war era.

Current Events:

India invests in its relationship with Russia, but increasingly in return for neutrality rather than support. Defence minister Rajnath Singh visited Moscow to help mark World War II Victory Day just after external affairs minister S Jaishankar attended a virtual Russia-India-China summit hosted by Moscow.


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