As Modi Skips Annual Summit Again, Jaishankar Goes To Russia For Talks

Syllabus: GS-II.

Source: The Hindu

Subject: International Relations

Topic: Bilateral Relations

Issue: PM skipping the Annual Meet with Russia.

Context: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi skipping Russia for the annual summit for the second year in a row, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Monday reached Moscow on a five-day visit to meet the Russian leadership.

Synopsis:

  • External Affairs Minister Jaishankar’s visit shows that India and Russia remain strong partners despite Western sanctions on Russia.
  • The annual summit didn’t happen in 2022 due to the war in Ukraine.
  • Talks focus on issues like how to pay for trade, Russia’s increased oil sales to India, and delays in defense equipment supply.
  • Both countries want to strengthen their special partnership in areas like economics and culture.
  • Discussions cover a wide range, including trade, energy, defense, and connectivity.
  • India depends on Russia for a lot of its defense needs and is buying Russian oil at lower prices due to the war.
  • India is careful in its response to the Ukraine conflict, expressing concerns without outright condemning Russia.
  • The visit also reflects India’s diplomatic stance on global issues like the Ukraine conflict and events in Gaza.
  • Overall, the meeting shows India and Russia sticking together despite challenges, emphasizing the importance of their partnership amid global changes.

Historical Background:

  • During the Cold War, India and the Soviet Union had a robust strategic relationship. After the Soviet Union’s dissolution, Russia inherited this bond, resulting in a Special Strategic Relation. However, recent years, especially post-Covid, saw strained ties, partly due to Russia’s close relations with China and Pakistan, causing geopolitical issues for India.

    Political Relations:

    • Annual meetings of Inter-Governmental Commissions on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological, and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) and Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC).

    Defence and Security Relations:

    • Regular Tri-Services exercise ‘INDRA.’
    • Joint military programs cover BrahMos cruise missile, 5th gen fighter jet, Sukhoi Su-30MKI, and hardware like S-400 Triumf, Kamov Ka-226, T-90S Bhishma, and INS Vikramaditya.

    Nuclear Energy:

    • Construction of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) under the Russia-India Inter-Governmental Agreement.
    • Joint implementation of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Project in Bangladesh.
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