Indo-Russian Relations
Daily coverage of what makes ties between Delhi & Moscow ever-lasting — even in times of western sanctions.

BJP Manifesto: Decoding Russia's Role in 'Bharat First Foreign Policy'

© Photo : Indian PM Office / Modi Meets Putin in DelhiModi Putin Meet
Modi Putin Meet - Sputnik India, 1920, 16.04.2024
Sputnik India reached out to experts to understand the role that Russia is poised to play in India's foreign policy in the next five years. The BJP highlighted its 'Bharat First Foreign Policy' approach in the manifesto released this week.
Russia looks poised to play a significant and an increasingly diversified role in achieving India's foreign policy objectives in the next five years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, if he is able to secure a third term in power in the Lok Sabha elections.
Military, energy and political experts have told Sputnik India that convergence of Indian and Russian interests in establishing a multipolar world order, New Delhi's vision to sustain macroeconomic stability and low inflation on its path to become the third-biggest economy by 2029 and its goal of becoming a defence manufacturing hub are some of the key avenues of collaboration between the two countries.
Here are some of the key highlights of BJP's foreign policy vision for the next five years. Achieving each of these priorities would potentially involve forging, enhancing or maintaining cooperation with Russia to varying degrees:
Making India the world's third-biggest economy by 2029;
Sustaining financial macro stability, including low inflation;
Working to get a Permanent Seat at UN Security Council;
Promoting defence manufacturing under Make in India;
Expanding the use of nuclear power in India's energy mix. Significantly, Russia and India signed a pact in December to construct more units at Kudankulam nuclear power plant (NPP), India largest nuclear facility;
Further strengthen India's position as 'Voice of the Global South', where BRICS could play a significant role.

'Russian Crude Exports Help India's Economy'

"Windfall gains" for the Indian government due to Russian oil imports in 2022 and 2023 have been a factor in checking retail inflation, Arpit Chandna, an energy specialist at Refinitiv, an LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group) business, told Sputnik India.

He underlined that stable Russian crude exports to India have also benefited the Indian economy, which relies on crude imports to meet around 85 percent of its energy requirements.
Arpit predicted that Russian oil imports to India are likely to continue and would remain one of the "most viable options" for New Delhi, as it seeks to achieve the goal of becoming the world's third-biggest economy by 2029.

Fundamental Shift in Nature of India-Russia Defence Relationship, Says Veteran

New Delhi has aimed to have a "robust defence relationship" with Russia under the Inter- Governmental Commissions Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC- MTC), Brigadier (retired) Arun Sahgal, the Executive Director of the Forum for Strategic Initiative, a policy think-tank focusing on national security, diplomacy and Track II Dialogue, told Sputnik India.

He said that the defence ties would continue to evolve from traditionally a buyer-seller relationship to co-production of advanced technologies and systems in coming years, as highlighted by both sides during External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's visit to Moscow in December.

"India will remain committed to get a large number of military spares from Russia due to the prevalence of Russian systems in all the three services. Advanced systems like S-400 and potentially S-500 will always be in the interest of India's national security," Sahgal said.

"Going forward, there is also bound to be interest in Russian hypersonic missile technology. Besides, Indian policymakers might also be interested in other systems being deployed in Ukraine, such as the 'Kamikaze' drones," he added.
Sahgal said that a challenge for India and Russia would be to overcome "challenges" due to geopolitical factors in delivering projects on time, pointing out that Russia's military-industrial complex had been increasingly focussed on Ukraine in the last two years.
Sahgal said that there were three key factors driving India to achieve self-sufficiency, or 'atmanirbharta' in the defence sector.

Russia has Always Backed India on Counter-Terrorism, UNSC Membership: BJP Politician

There is a firm belief on part of BJP that India-Russia ties would continue to grow and diversify in the next five years, Vijay Jolly, formerly the head of BJP's Foreign Affairs Department, told Sputnik India.

"Russia has remained a consistent diplomatic, political and a defence partner of India for over 50 years now. Whether it was under previous Congress governments or the current government under Prime Minister Modi, Russia has continued to provide India with a defence shield. The relationship has expanded to encompass energy supplies in the last two years," Jolly stated.

He highlighted that both the countries have "intertwined interests", noting Russia's support for CCIT and India's permanent membership at the UNSC.
"We do hope that in the next 5-10 years, India-Russia bilateral cooperation across different domains, including trade, defence, science and technology as well as education, will continue to increase. There is a firm hope that India's relationship with Russia will not only be balanced, but also that the trajectory would upward, irrespective of New Delhi's own relationship with the US and other western countries," said Jolly.
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