New Delhi: Indo-Russian relations persist from the time Russia was not even an independent identity. During the Cold War, India and the Soviet Union (USSR) enjoyed a strong strategic, military, economic and diplomatic relationship. After USSR collapsed, Russia came more closer to India in terms of ties.
Traditionally, the Indo-Russian strategic partnership has been built on five major components: politics, defence, civil nuclear energy, anti-terrorism cooperation and space.
However, in recent times the focus has been shifted to economical growth as both countries have set a target for US$30 billion in bilateral trade by 2025.
Bilateral trade between both countries in 2012 grew by over 24%, they are also looking to develop a free trade agreement.
Russia also plays an important role for India as major segment of defense lies in their hand. In 2004, more than 70% of the Indian Military's hardware came from Russia, making Russia the chief supplier of defence equipment. India is the second largest market for the Russian defence industry.
With building pressure from Pakistan and China over the border security, India relies more on its defence system and that lies under the trust of Russian machinery.
Recently, Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj visited Russia and said both the nations are looking forward for joint-production of military equipment, and are stepping away from a typical buyer-seller relationship.
“Our military-technical cooperation with Russia was based on a ‘buyer-seller’ relationship – they sold arms, and we bought them,” she said. “But this (cooperation) has now changed. Russia has decided to produce weapons in India, as well as to jointly manufacture arms with us, transferring the corresponding technologies.”
Swaraj had also credited Russia as time-tested friend.
Well, India also hopes to make a success of manufacturing with ‘Make in India’ initiative.
We hope that PM Modi convinces Russia to jointly produce arms, fighter jets, submarines, missiles and tanks.