As India, Russia mark 70th yr of ties, report requires revamp of engagement

Russia should actively participate in India’s Make in India programme in defence manufacturing, with more technology transfers, as that would consolidate Russia’s dominant position as India’s defence partner, the report said. Photo: Reuters

Russia ought to actively take part in India’s Make in India programme in defence manufacturing, with extra know-how transfers, as that will consolidate Russia’s dominant place as India’s defence accomplice, the report mentioned. Photo: Reuters

New Delhi: As India and Russia mark 70 years of diplomatic relations, a report on the state of ties between the 2 nations introduced out by two badume tanks requires a serious revamp of the engagement between the once-close companions.

Prepared by New Delhi-based Vivekananda International Foundation and Moscow-headquartered Russian International Affairs Council, the report requires elevated interplay on the ministerial and bureaucratic ranges all year long, somewhat than confining dialogue to an annual summit between the Russian and Indian leaderships. India and Russia have been having common bilateral summits between the Russian president and the Indian prime minister since 2000.

The report additionally requires a three-way talks between Russia, India and the US in addition to Russia, India and Israel to extend the ambit of cooperation. India and Russia have already got a trilateral badociation with China.

On terrorism and non secular extremism, the paper requires the 2 nations to badist one another extra intently and visibly. It additionally requires the 2 nations to collaborate in third nations—equivalent to these in India’s neighbourhood like Nepal and on Russia’s periphery just like the Central Asian Republics.

“India is Russia’s longstanding and reliable partner. However the current model of ties has largely exhausted itself and cooperation should be taken to a qualitatively new level,” says the report launched in Moscow final month.

“Giving a new impetus to Moscow-New Delhi relations would allow Russia to diversify its efforts in Asia. It is necessary for India and Russia to prevent third countries from exerting significant influence on their bilateral ties,” it mentioned. The latter could possibly be a reference to India’s considerations of Russia’s ties with New Delhi’s strategic rival China casting a shadow over Moscow-New Delhi relations. New Delhi additionally views Moscow’s current reaching out to India’s arch rival Pakistan as a subset of Russia-China ties.

In the case of Russia, Moscow has been anxious concerning the rising heat in India-US ties.

Once seen as nearer to the previous Soviet Union, India’s ties with the US have undergone a dramatic change in current years, with Washington rising as a key supply of army for India. New Delhi additionally has shut to a few dozen dialogues with Washington—unthinkable in the course of the Cold War years when the US was seen as a serious ally of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the as soon as shut India-Russia ties have developed indicators of pressure with Moscow’s rising ties with Islamabad. Once seen as being on the identical web page over the menace posed by the Pakistan-backed Taliban in Afghanistan, India and Russia now have variations on the topic with Moscow seemingly extra anxious concerning the menace posed by the Islamic State than Taliban.

According to the report, “an imperfect legal framework, tariff and non-tariff trade limitations, the lack of up-to-date information on political processes in both countries; the low level of business contacts; and the outdated images of both Russia and India their citizens have” are among the impediments standing in the way in which of a brand new partnership between the 2 nations.

“It is important to further expand Russia-India engagement on the international arena,” it mentioned, urging Russia “to continue to actively support India’s claim for greater participation in international affairs,” notably in reforming the United Nations Security Council.

On worldwide connectivity initiatives, the report mentioned that Russia and India “have a geopolitical interest in actively promoting the North-South Corridor through Iran so that connectivity projects in the region get diversified and single-country domination is avoided.” The latter is seen as a reference to China’s formidable Belt and Road Initiative that goals to attach round 60 nations throughout Asia, Africa and Europe. The North-South Corridor, then again, is an formidable multimodal transport system established in 2000 by Iran, Russia and India to attach the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea by Iran after which onwards to St Petersburg and northern Europe by Russia.

To strengthen financial linkages between the 2 nations, “it is necessary to set out mutually acceptable business conditions, stimulate investment flows and greenlight mutual investments,” the report mentioned.

On defence collaboration, the report mentioned “it is important to secure and consolidate new trends in the development of military-technical cooperation and, first and foremost, to transition from the “seller–buyer” mannequin to large-scale joint breakthrough initiatives.”

“Russia should actively participate in India’s Make in India programme in defence manufacturing, with more technology transfers, as that would consolidate Russia’s dominant position as India’s defence partner,” it added.

First Published: Mon, Nov 06 2017. 11 50 PM IST

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