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8 Jan, 2024 15:34

India and Russia hold candid talks on bilateral ties

Foreign policy experts from the two countries met in New Delhi following S. Jaishankar’s visit to Moscow
India and Russia hold candid talks on bilateral ties

Foreign policy experts from Russia and India have been discussing the outcome of the recent visit to Moscow by Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and key trends in the countries’ bilateral relationship. 

The Valdai Discussion Club, Moscow’s primary foreign policy think tank, held the first  bilateral Russia-India conference in New Delhi on Monday in partnership with one of India’s leading think tanks, Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF).

Discussions were held both publicly and in closed-door format, focusing on various dimensions of the relationship between the two countries, ranging from trade to cooperation in strategic areas such as security, defense, space and technology. 

Addressing the conference, Denis Alipov, Russia’s ambassador to India, said the two countries maintain steadfast bilateral relations and intensified dialogue.

“We stand like-minded in preserving the unbiased character of multilateral institutions based on genuine democracy in international relations,” he said, noting their cooperation in areas such as IT and digitalization to agriculture, logistics, and finance.

According to Valdai Club Chairman Andrey Bystritskiy, since India gained independence from the British Empire in 1947, Moscow has emerged as a reliable and predictable partner. Ties between the two countries have accumulated “a large reserve of trust” which has become a useful resource in the current geopolitical environment. 

Currently, New Delhi and Moscow are interested in diversifying international financial transactions, and BRICS could become one of the most important tools for promoting common global goals. Russia’s presidency of the group this year will be an opportunity to “take stock of the organization’s capabilities to advance the shared agenda,” he said. 

Bystritskiy suggested that India and Russia could engage more to implement climate-change goals and promote the environmental agenda. While India has done a lot to diversify energy sources and raise environmental standards, Russia has significant natural potential for reducing climate risks, as well as unique expertise, including in the Arctic, which is known as the world’s “weather kitchen.”

According to Fyodor Lukyanov, research director of the Valdai Discussion Club and an RT columnist, Russia and India are two countries that are “best prepared to operate in the new world order” – better than the US or China – as they have shown a high level of resilience against geopolitical challenge, which primarily comes from understanding of the need to be self-sufficient.

“Russia and India are now in the process of reinventing themselves. We need to reinvent our mutual cooperation for better functioning in turbulent international relations,” he concluded.

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