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Friends In Need…

There was no surprise in the recent meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. After their meeting, the two Governments stated in a joint statement that New Delhi and Moscow decided to boost energy co-operation, improve transport links between Chennai and Vladivostok, and resolve issues related to arms production. It means that the two friendly nations planned to strengthen their trade ties, as PM Modi and President Putin were happy with the current state of bilateral relations. Still, the 20th meeting between the Indian Premier and the Russian Strongman (in the last six years) was significant, symbolically!
After the abolition of the Special Constitutional Status of the northern Indian Province of Kashmir, it became important for New Delhi to ensure the support of major global powers. China has already taken a tough stand on the Kashmir issue, and backed its all-weather friend Pakistan at the UN. Although many Western countries consider the issue as India’s internal matter, they have expressed serious concern over the violation of Human Rights (by the Indian Forces) in Kashmir…

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PM Modi with President Putin

However, Russia has fully backed India on this particular issue. President Putin not only praised his good friend Modi for taking the bold step, but also issued a joint statement with him. The reason is simple… even Russia had made a similar move in the past… President Putin had deployed Army to capture Crimea from Ukraine in 2014!
The other significance of the term symbolic is that the changing of positions by the two world powers in the volatile global geo-political environment. As India has come closer to the US in the last two decades, Russia has maintained a safe distance from India. At the same time, Moscow has strengthened ties with Beijing, thus, putting New Delhi under tremendous diplomatic pressure. Russia has also boosted defence ties with Pakistan in the last couple of years…
Now, it is the time for both New Delhi and Moscow to regain mutual trust! In recent times, India has decided to import defence equipment from Russia, ignoring the US’ advice. Russia, too, has decided to safeguard India’s interests in different sectors, despite maintaining cordial ties with China. Indeed, this is significant… In fact, everyone is trying to explore new options before entering into the new phase of uncertainty, as far as the global geo-politics is concerned. Both India and Russia are well aware of the fact that what will happen, if the bilateral relationship becomes stronger.

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The history of Russia-India relations is very old, as the global community knows former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s proximity to the erstwhile Soviet Union. Everyone should welcome the change, if the revival of the ties with Russia can help India bolster its strategic position in world politics! No one will be surprised if India-Russia relations become stronger than Russia-China relations, or India-US ties in the coming years. The trade ties between India and Russia were not so strong in the past. However, PM Modi and President Putin agreed to concentrate on strengthening bilateral trade ties during their meeting in Vladivostok. It is expected that both India and Russia will work hard in order to take their relationship to a new height, especially after their failure in finding a genuine friend in contemporary world!

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