OCTOBER 24, 2016
From the beginning of the Cold War, the USSR and India shared a strong strategic military, economic and diplomatic relationship. At the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Russia automatically inherited this close relationship. This bilateral Indo-Russian relations remained robust even after India decisively opened its doors to the West in the late 1990s. The traditional pillars of Indo-Russian cooperation have remained defence, politics and diplomacy, nuclear energy, space, and anti-terrorism activities. Lately economic cooperation has also been highlighted by mutually setting a target of $ 30 billion in bilateral trade to be achieved by 2025.
Both Indian and Russia are members of important international bodies like the United Nations, BRICS, G-20 and SCO and cooperate with each other in these groups on matters of shared interest. Russia publicly supports India’s bid to be given permanent membership of the UN Security Council. Currently Russia is the only nation, other than for Japan, to have a mechanism of annual ministerial level defence review with India. Further, the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission (IRIGC) is the largest governmental mechanism that India has with any nation. The IRIGC is represented by all Government Departments and meets annually. It acts as a de facto steering committee on Indo-Russian bilateral relations.
Military and Economic Relations
Military relations between the two nations are governed by the annual Defence Ministerial meetings and has a long historical perspective of more than half a century, starting with the erstwhile Indo-Soviet defence agreements. Russia inherited the Soviet role as an automatic substitute on the political collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1997, India and Russia signed a ten-year agreement for further military-technical cooperation.