Tensions in West Asia have disrupted global shipping and revived interest in the Chennai-Vladivostok Eastern Maritime Corridor. Better freight and passenger connectivity between Southern India and Russia’s Far East will open new areas for bilateral cooperation such as the export of machinery, auto parts and engineering goods from India, and progressively integrate the economies of the two countries.
The Russian reaction to the highly successful visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington D.C, has been largely balanced. Russians appreciate India’s need for top technology and investments, but also note that Delhi has done so without compromising its strategic autonomy.
In 2022, increased sanctions were imposed on Russia by the U.S., E.U., and their allies. The track record of Western sanctions shows they are quick to be imposed, but slow to be removed. In the current environment, it is reasonable to assume that sanctions on Russia will stay in place for a very long time. India should plan its defence and commercial relations accordingly.
The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics came to a close on 20 February. It was marked by Covid restrictions, athlete dramas, and a united diplomatic boycott by Western democracies citing human rights concerns in Xinjiang, a boycott India later joined for Galwan-related issues. In contrast with the unity presented by China and Russia with summit meetings in the lead up to the Olympics, shifting alliances are now the norm.
India hosted a summit with five Central Asian states on January 27, marking 30 years of diplomatic relations with the region, and an important step forward to pursue greater connectivity between India and Central Asia. New Delhi's engagement holds promise for ambitious bilateral agendas including security in Afghanistan, the revival of dormant projects, and potential collaboration in renewable energy, space and information technology.
The India-Russia leaders’ summit and ministerial meetings in New Delhi on Dec. 6, scored big. Differences were set aside to make transformative progress in defence, fintech and connectivity among other sectors, commencing a new era of India-Russia relations fit for the 21st century.
The two nations should take a clear-eyed review of the current state of their ties with an emphasis on intensifying dialogue in the new sectors.
India and Russia are natural partners for energy collaboration. India imports 85% of its oil while Russia is one of the largest exporters. An expanded bilateral investment strategy, especially in liquefied natural gas can help Russia access new markets and India meet its energy requirements. This mutually beneficial collaboration can re-affirm trust between the two countries, amidst complex geopolitical realities.
American sanctions on Russian defence companies may end up hurting an innocent bystander: India's defence sector. In particular, they could threaten Indian military procurement, and also may complicate India’s attempts to produce more of its own defence hardware. India needs to study the issue closely to prepare for what may come
The Indo-Pacific region is home to some of the largest and most rapidly growing economies as also powerful military forces. Nuclear threats, international terrorism and climate change are some of the issues that define the region. Uncertainty dogs relations among the four nations in the top league—U.S., China, India and Japan—but what is emerging is a hawkish, policy stance from the U.S. as opposed to an isolationist outlook apprehended earlier