India's External Affairs Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, drew attention to the enduring, strategic relationship between India and Russia during his address at the Global Technology Summit in New Delhi. Developed over the course of 60 years, he stressed that this relationship has often been pivotal for India, echoing his earlier characterization of Indo-Russian ties as "extremely steady".
India-Russia Relations Amid Ukraine Conflict
The dynamics between the two nations have recently been cast into sharp relief due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Since February 2022, India has consistently abstained from United Nations resolutions against Russia. This stance has drawn scrutiny from the West, yet the trade between the two nations has surged. The uptick in Russian oil imports and the continuation of arms trade underscore Russia's role as a significant supplier to India.
India's Economic Choices
Defending India's economic decisions, particularly the purchase of Russian oil, Jaishankar asserted that these actions align with the country's best interests. He argued that these choices have helped to stave off potential hikes in domestic petroleum prices and inflation. During his visit to the United States, he emphasized the importance of maintaining a steady relationship with Russia, a relationship that both countries have carefully nurtured.
Trade and Cooperation with EAEU and CIS
India has demonstrated interest in collaborating with markets in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. In 2022, the trade turnover between India and EAEU member states doubled, and in the first half of the succeeding year, the trade turnover increased by another 90%. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Overchuk has stated that the potential for economic cooperation between Russia and India is far greater.
Geopolitical Interplays: India, China, and Nepal
Nepal's geographical and topographical quirks have rendered it significant in the arena of foreign policy, where nations strategically vie for power and influence. The hydropower potential of Nepal has turned it into the epicenter of the intricate power struggle between China and India. Both powers exert their influence in Nepal through infrastructure investments, offering a striking example of their geopolitical rivalry.