Sansad TV Perspective: India - Russia Annual Summit

In the series Sansad TV Perspective, we bring you an analysis of the discussion featured on the insightful programme ‘Perspective’ on Sansad TV, on various important topics affecting India and also the world. This analysis will help you immensely for the IAS exam, especially the mains exam, where a well-rounded understanding of topics is a prerequisite for writing answers that fetch good marks.

In this article, we feature the discussion on the topic: Russia Annual Summit.

Anchor: Teena Jha

Participants: 

  1. Ajai Malhotra, Former Ambassador to Russia
  2. Prof. Harsh V. Pant, Head, Strategic Studies Programme, ORF
  3. Dr. Uttam Kumar Sinha, Fellow, Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi

Context: 

The India – Russia Annual Summit is an embodiment of the exemplary bilateral relationship between the two countries and an act of bringing the two countries together to offer progressive steps towards strengthening the longstanding and time tested relationship. It is believed that the bilateral ties with Russia form the major pillar of India’s foreign policy.

The India – Russia Annual Summit: A Brief Overview 

  • The Summit of 6th December 2021 between India and Russia marks the 21st Annual Summit between the two countries.
  • The last time it was organised was in the year 2019 when the Indian Prime Minister visited Vladivostok.
  • As part of the Summit, the Russian President is on a visit to India.
  • For the first time, India and Russia are engaging in a 2+2  dialogue. 

What is a 2+2 Dialogue in the language of Diplomacy?

  • A conversation between the defence and foreign ministries of any two countries having diplomatic relations is referred to as a 2+2 dialogue.
  • Such dialogues involve strategies that discuss the crucial areas of defence and matters of international importance that require regional and multilateral collaborations.
  • These dialogues facilitate the creation of a strong synergy between the two partners in the area of shared interests.
  • India had 2 +2 dialogues with Australia, Japan and the US.

What is expected from the Summit?

  • There is a propensity towards the signing of agreements between India and Russia in areas of Defence, Trade, Energy and also Space Technology.
  • The Government of India has planned to indulge in a joint production of 500,000 AK – 203 assault rifles with Russia. This would protect India’s interest in self-reliance in defence manufacturing.
  • The two countries will take an attempt to deepen their collaboration with a primary focus on regional security concerns with the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan. A joint statement will be issued to accentuate India’s growing concern over cross border terrorism which is considered to be a common concern of the bilateral partners. 
  • The Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELOS) will allow the militaries of the two countries to exchange logistics support.
  • AK -203 rifles manufacturing factory was inaugurated at Amethi in Uttar Pradesh under a joint venture called the Indo – Russia Rifles Private Limited. This venture was formulated by Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited, Munitions India Limited and Russia’s Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov.
  • The AK 203 rifles will replace the INSAS rifles which have been inducted for more than three decades.

Read more about AK 203 rifles in CNA dated 5th December 2021.

  • There is a paradigm shift in defence acquisition from buying to indigenous manufacturing that makes the Make in India, Make for the World vision clearer.
  • In line with Putin’s visit, there will be the delivery of the first squadron of S – 400 missile systems. This displays India’s firm stand on its policy of strategic autonomy pertaining to defence purchase despite the continuous nudge from the US of imposing CAATSA if the S-400 deal is approved.
  • Licensing of production of SU-30 (Sukhoi 30) aircraft and T- 90 tanks along with cooperation on BrahMos missile system will be areas of prominence in terms of defence and security.  

Opportunities in Russia’s Far East:

  • India is emphasizing trade and investment in Russia’s far east region that include coal, diamond and human resource needs. In this regard, 11 governors from the Far East of Russia have been invited to the Gujarat meet of 2022.

Also read about the Modi – Putin Summit (Sep 2019) in the linked article.

The Future of India – Russia Relationship

  • The 21st Annual Summit between India and Russia will reflect the profound attachment that Russia shares with India. The dire situation due to COVID-19 in Russia couldn’t be a barrier to the President’s visit to India. This portrays the nature of India – Russia bonhomie. 
  • The two nations are expected to take all progressive steps in the upcoming days to further the old legacy that prevailed. 
  • Defence and security have been the bedrock of the India – Russia relationship and it will be strengthened through the 2+2 strategic dialogue that will be witnessed in the near future. 
  • Experts recommended addressing the changing needs of an evolving contemporary international system by looking for areas of synergies between the two old friends of history. 
  • For instance, it was precisely pointed out by an expert that the two countries must bring in more economic dynamism into the existing unidimensional engagement and must involve larger arrays of stakeholders resulting in a robust bottom-up engagement.
  • Therefore there need to be broader avenues of cooperation to allow room for explorations beyond talks and documents resulting in an evolved partnership that is strategic as well as dynamic.

Read more summaries of Perspective in the link.

Perspective: Russia Annual Summit:- Download PDF Here

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