India and Russia shares historical ties since the time of the Indian independence. Our first PM Nehru was the first person to visit Russia and had adopted the concept of democratic socialism. Apart from this the Russian revolution had inspired many freedom fighters during the time of colonial rule. India and Russia share a strong relationship in terms of security, nuclear power plant, etc. During the times of war Russia has provided us weapons at low costs and most of the nuclear power reactors are constructed by the Russians. Now from the past few years relations are getting stronger and it is important to maintain the relationship.
Recently Nirmala sitharaman visit to Russia had further enhanced the ties between two countries. This meet mainly focuses on the counter terrorism and buying of arms and ammunition at low prices. India wants to procure advanced long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence system, as China as began to install air defence systems along the 4000km Sino-India border.1 S-400 is the most advanced air defense systems produced by Russia there as been a small dispute regarding the price level and to negotiate to get the air defence systems at low price. From the past two years the relations with Russia are increasing due to the deterioration in the Sino-India relations, recently in 2017 Modi’s visit to Russia both have agreed to increase the Kundakulum nuclear power plant capacity in Tamil Nadu. Due to the rise in the geo political tensions between India and China, bolstering our relations with the Russia is a good move by India. Russia’s oil producer, Rosneft, closed a $12.9 billion purchase of India’s largest oil company, Essar making it the largest foreign investment in India 2. India’s 70% of defence equipment is imported from Russia, also Russia is the longstanding partner of strategic privilege in India’s foreign policy. The joint development of Bramhos project had been successful and it boosted the trade of both countries by selling it to Vietnam and other small countries. Russia’s economy is based or runs on arms and ammunition and oil and gas. India being the larger importer of its arms Russian economy has high demand for its technology.
With the growing China’s geographical dispute with India it is necessary for India to foster the ties with Russia and other small countries which are located in the Asia- Pacific region. India also should not depend completely on the Russian economy for the arms and should reduce the defence import from Russia. India-US nuclear deal 2008 was the biggest success of the government of India and simultaneously the increase in the relations with US also had shown a positive development in the economic trade of the country. India should develop its foreign policy in such a way that it should balance the relations with other countries.
1 “India, Russia decide to expedite negotiations for key defense goals”, The times of India, 4th April 2018. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-russia-decide-to-expedite-negotiations-for-key-defencedeals/articleshow/63613342.cms
2 “The coming India- Russia split”, Dmitriy Frolovskiy, The Diplomat, 09th January 2018. https://thediplomat.com/2018/01/the-coming-india-russia-split/