Russia-India-China Group – UPSC Prelims

  • Russia-India-China(RIC) is a strategic grouping that was founded in the late 1990s under the leadership of Yevgeny Primakov, a Russian politician, as a counterbalance to the Western alliance.
  • Aim: To end its subservient foreign policy guided by the USA and renew old ties with India and foster the newly discovered friendship with China.
  • Significance: Together, the RIC countries occupy over 19% of the global landmass and contribute to over 33% of the global GDP. Moreover, all three countries are nuclear powers and the two countries namely Russia and China are permanent members of the UN Security Council, while India aspires to be one.
  • Chaired by: India took over the chairmanship of RIC after the last meeting of the three foreign ministers in Russia in 2020.
What is the relevance of RIC Group for India?
  • Group for Cooperation: Even though India, China and Russia may disagree on a number of security issues in Eurasia, there are areas where their interests converge, like, for instance, Afghanistan. So, RIC can ensure stable peace in Afghanistan and, by extension, in Central Asia.
  • RIC is an incentive for Russia to remain neutral on India-China disputes as well as to exercise-friendly persuasion and restraint on China.
What are the challenges faced by RIC Group?
  • India-China Standoff: India and China share strained ties after the brutal clash at the Galwan Valley in 2020 killed 20 Indian troops. While the two countries have been holding talks to resolve the issue and disengage at the LAC, a final solution hasn’t been found yet.
  • India’s improved relations with the United States: The other issue that affects the group is  India’s improved relations with the United States which is perceived as enemy number one by both Russia and China.

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