Indo – Soviet Era

India followed a distance relation soon after independence . But there was reapproachment in 1960s because of

  • Development of US-Pak alliance
  • India was devoid of major partner
  • Soviet view of acceptance that Kashmir as an integral part of India

In 1971 – treaty of peace and friendship , because of

  • US – China – Pak relationship
  • Instability in East Pakistan

But soon after the end of cold war things started to change

  • Uncertainty in world order and power
  • Russia accepted a wait and see policy
  • Asia first said needed a policy to be aligned towards Asia while Atlantics towards west. Unfortunately Atlantics  dominated

Situation started changing in late 1990s. There was unilateraliam by US. Therefore Russia wanted an alliance and expansion of NATO..There after cordial relationship started between both the countries..

Why Russia for India ?

  • Energy Security : It can meet its abundant energy requirements at a cost-effective price.
  • Defence partnership : Despite expanding its defence purchases from the US, Israel and Europe, India still needs to collaborate with Russia
  • Geopolitically : Russia continues to be a balancing force against any designs China and Pakistan may have in our region.
  • Negotiation with the West : It improves India’s bargaining power when it negotiates arms sales with the West.
  • Economic partner : Russia can be a major market for Indian industry such as pharmaceuticals, manufactured goods, dairy products, bovine meat and frozen seafood.
  • Space and Technology : To master future technology including for space.

Why Russia needs India ?

  • A market for its goods to bypass Western sanctions imposed after its power push in Ukraine.
  • The forthcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership driven by the US will also force Russia to eye markets beyond Europe. India is a natural partner.
  • Despite its renewed friendship with China, Russia will soon find itself in competition with it as Beijing regards itself as the new G2 along with the US.
  • India can help provide the multi-polarity that Russia fiercely seeks.


1)Political :

  • Role of Russia in multilateral institutions such as BRICS, SCO, India – Russia intergovernmental commission
  • New Delhi needs Moscow’s support in the former’s bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council
  • The Russians have backed the Indian position on Kashmir.
  • Annual Summit meeting is the highest institutionalized dialogue mechanism under the Strategic Partnership

2)Defence : 

  • Joint Ventures : BrahMos Missile System, Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft and the Multi Transport Aircraft, as well as the licensed production in India of SU-30 aircraft and T-90 tanks, are 3 examples of such flagship cooperation.
  • Technology and Defence deal : S 400 Air Defence System, KAMOV Helicopters
  • Exercises : INDRA (Navy) and AIR INDIA (Airforce)

3)Economic : 

->Economic relation is minimal , because

  • Both India and Russia have business sections which is west oriented
  • Lack of connectivity
  • Language barrier
  • Economic relation is guided only in Govt to Govt mode [Track 1 diplomacy]

->Eventhough some form of economic activity is there such as

  • India and Russia decided to institutionalize the CEO’s Forum and agreed to liberalize business travel which will help boost bilateral trade  Russia sees India – one of the fastest growing economies in the world – as a country that could alleviate Russia’s economic problems.  
  • Make in India initiative would welcome Russian companies from the public and private sectors Russian firms have shown a willingness to invest in India in construction, major infrastructure projects such as dedicated freight corridors and industrial clusters, smart cities, and engineering services, sharing technologies and skills.
  • Indian companies are exploring major investment options in Russia, especially in natural resources∙ such as coal, fertilizers, hydrocarbons, minerals, and rare earth metals Trade and investment relations are not up to the mark and this needs improvements


  • ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) is investing in Vankor cluster oil field
  • India – Russi joint exploration of oil in Arctic shell

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