Resetting relations with major power centres is the new buzzword in Indian diplomacy. Nearly three weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first informal summit meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping, …Read More
The first annual summit meeting between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin has ended on a high note, with an all-encompassing vision statement that maps out the trajectory of this relationship over the next decade and signals a marked upswing in the economic relationship that seems ready to enter a higher trajectory after years of relative stagnation.
The summit meeting took place against the backdrop of the deepening chill between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis and the deals worth billions of dollars struck between India and Russia have predictably raised eyebrows. In essence, the Modi-Putin meeting underlined that India and Russia are ready to move beyond clichés of time-tested and special and privileged ties to do provide more economic content and strategic heft to the relationship amid rapidly shifting geopolitical realities.
Taking a long-range view, the December 11 Modi-Putin summit has chalked out a detailed and creative template for transforming the India-Russia relationship that was drifting into stagnation and was getting entrapped in predictable diplomatic clichés. The 20 agreements signed during the summit, specially the economic and energy agreements, have huge transformative potential if they are brought to fruition within set deadlines. However, in the end the success of the remaking of the India-Russia relationship will depend on the continued centrality of strategic trust in the overall relationship.
From frontier areas of science and technology, space, defence and nuclear power to hydrocarbons, trade and investment and cultural synergy, the relations between the two countries are truly all-encompassing and comprehensive. And in the forthcoming presidential visit, the two countries will be heralding a new phase in their multifarious ties through a compelling joint vision statement.
What makes the India-Russia relations special and privileged? And will they retain their unique lustre amid cunning calculations of shifting geopolitics? On this count, the answer is a resounding yes, despite some recent developments like Russia’s contentious decision to sign a defence pact with Pakistan. But the overall picture remains overwhelmingly positive. For what imparts the India-Russia relations its enduring relevance and strength is the sheer range of collaboration in strategic sectors and an identity of perspectives on leading regional and global issues, underpinned by a common belief in mutipolarity and an inclusive world order.
The intricate machinery of time-tested India-Russia relationship is set to hum with a new decadal vision of this crucial partnership and get an added diamond sparkle in economic ties when Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his first annual summit meeting with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi December 11. Ahead of the visit, India has struck an upbeat note on the future trajectory of the relationship and hoped that President Putin’s visit will be “a landmark event” and is “expected to provide a fresh impetus to the existing excellent bilateral relations between our two countries.”
Diamonds are forever, and will cast their radiance on the forthcoming presidential visit as Mr Putin is set to attend a diamond conference in New Delhi, with the larger plan of making India into a major global diamond hub.
President Putin’s first visit to India under the new dispensation in New Delhi is, therefore, poised to be substantive and all-encompassing, reaffirming the pivotal place both countries occupy in each other’s strategic calculus amid the vagaries of international politics. The messaging from both sides is distinctly upbeat.