Enduring Partnership: A Look at India-Russia Relations on PM Narendra Modi’s Visit

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Enduring Partnership: A Look at India-Russia Relations on PM Narendra Modi's Visit

As the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gears up for a visit to Russia scheduled for July 8th and 9th, 2024, the spotlight shines on a relationship that has stood the test of time. This visit promises to further solidify the unique strategic partnership between India and Russia, a bond that transcends continents and carries a rich historical legacy.

Modi is enthusiastic to develop strong and smooth social, cultural, financial, and above all political relations with almost all the countries which are non supportive towards the terrorism. Prior to his visit to Russia, several estimations are coming from different corners about the agenda of matters to be discussed during the meeting of representatives of both the nations. However, the Foreign Secretary of India Vinay Kwatra has said that Modi’s visit to Russia is purely bilateral. Dismissing the comparisons to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in U.S. on the same day, Mr. Kwatra has made it clear that Modi will discuss a range of issues with his Russian  counterpart Putin including trade,  connectivity, space, defence supplies,  oil and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) etc.

Decades of Friendship: A Foundation of Trust

India and Russia’s relationship goes back to the Cold War era. The Soviet Union was a key ally, providing political, military, and economic support to India’s development. This trust continued even after the USSR’s dissolution, with Russia inheriting the mantle of close partnership. Today, this “special and privileged strategic partnership” is a cornerstone of both nations’ foreign policies.

Strategic Pillars: Defense, Diplomacy, and More

Several key pillars define this enduring relationship. Defense cooperation is a lynchpin. India remains the largest customer of Russian arms, and joint military exercises are a regular feature. Both nations collaborate on space exploration and civil nuclear energy, showcasing the partnership’s multi-faceted nature.

Beyond strategic interests, India and Russia collaborate on global issues. They advocate for a multipolar world order, challenging the dominance of a single superpower. Both champion the rights of developing nations and work together on the burning issues like ‘terrorism’ and ‘climate change’.

Social Connect: Beyond Politics

The India-Russia bond goes beyond political ties. Cultural exchanges are vibrant, with regular film festivals, art exhibitions, and educational programs fostering people-to-people connections. The shared legacy of the Cold War and the nostalgic pull of Soviet-era movies and literature add a unique layer to this social connect. There was a time when the Russian social, English magazine ‘Soviet Woman’ and its Hindi version ‘Soviet Naari’ were quite much admired in India due to its contents matching the daily social behaviors, needs, and wants of both the nations. Several Indian books have  also been translated in Russian language for the culture and literature sharings.

The Evolving Landscape: New Challenges and Considerations

While the relationship remains strong, certain challenges have emerged. The rise of China as a major power and Russia’s deepening ties with Pakistan create a complex geopolitical landscape for India. Additionally, India’s growing economic and strategic ties with the US add another layer of nuance.

The Road Ahead: A Strategic Balancing Act

The upcoming visit of the Indian Prime Minister is an opportunity to navigate these complexities. Both leaders are expected to discuss ways to further strengthen cooperation in various sectors, including energy, trade, and defense. Balancing these ties with a burgeoning relationship with the US will be a key focus for India.

Looking Forward: A Relationship of Significance

The India-Russia partnership holds immense significance in today’s multipolar world. It serves as a model for strong ties built on mutual trust and respect. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit promises to be a stepping stone in this enduring relationship, ensuring its continued relevance in the years to come.

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