India-Russia 21st Annual Summit : Key Take Aways – UPSC GS2

Challenges in India-Russia relations:
  • Despite considerable progress with vaccinations, both countries still face public health concerns and face challenges in controlling the pandemic.
  • Issues with US-Russia ties: Most recently, U.S. President mentioned that Russia will face “economy-jarring sanctions” if it seeks to occupy Ukraine.
  • An uneasy truce between India and China on the border.
  • India-Russia Relations remains primarily state-led with limited involvement of private players.
  • There are no agreements between India and Russia on the new-economy front such as fintech, renewable energy, telecom, etc in the recent meeting.
  • As the Taliban took Kabul, Russia became part of a new axis with Pakistan, China, Iran and Turkey, presenting a serious security challenge to India.
Why does Russia need India?
  • After Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia is not particularly welcomed in many parts of the world beyond China particularly Europe, US or Japan or Australia. Further, India is the most welcoming US ally nation and the only real friend among the Quad nations for Russia.
  • Russia’s close relations with China undermines its own interests in Asia. So, India can prevent Russia from falling into the Chinese basket.
Why does India need Russia?
Indian equipment is mostly of Russian extraction, so it requires spares, upgrades, and other forms of service back up.
What should be done?
  • Russia has to ensure a proper focus on confidence-boosting cooperative initiatives with India.
  • A 2019 agreement to re-operationalise a defunct sea route between Chennai and Vladivostok, could be a game-changer, both for trade and for the strategic relationship. So, both nations have to implement it at a faster pace.

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