The Special Relationship between India and Russia

When it comes to Russian-Indian cooperation, the field of military technology is the first mentioned. However, today, it is accompanied by a vast spectrum of economic, infrastructural, and other projects. According to Shri Deepak Bagla, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Invest India, and a participant of Eastern Economic Forum 2019, now we see a rapid extension of Russian-Indian cooperation in terms of business, innovations and technology, which stands to benefit not only the two countries but the entire world.

The relationship between India and Russia as we know it today is one of the most interesting and special relationships we have on the planet. Initially, it was dominated primarily by the government-to-government institutions: of the public sectors of the countries, which worked together. However, what we see now is the rapid introduction of the private sector, which is developing this cooperation even further.

Russia and India in a New Eurasia
A new chapter has been opened in the Valdai Club’s academic activities – an Indian one. In January, the Club held its session at Raisina Dialogue, an international conference in New Delhi. On April 9, 2019, the first Indo-Russian Conference of the Club was held in Moscow, organised in partnership with India’s Observer Research Foundation.
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Essentially, there are three pillars of the relationship; these are people to people, government-to-government, and business-to-business. When it comes to India and Russia, government-to-government relations are very strong. The people-to-people relations are exceptionally strong, too; the warmth between Indians and Russians is well-known. What we see now, however, is much stronger business-to-business connections. By order of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we established a special Russian desk of Invest India, which has to handle every investment happening in this corridor. In a very short period of 24 months, we are now looking at 47 business requests from Russia alone.

Interestingly, these requests cover eleven sectors, including media, entertainment, renewable energy and construction. Originally this corridor was dominated by 8-9 sectors; today, we already have about 18-19 of them. So the broadening of this relationship is what will now create a strong foundation for taking it to the next level.

The other element, which we now see very actively, is innovators and start-ups from Russia and India working together, and creating solutions not just for the people of our two countries, but for the entire world. There is much strength that we see in Russia in terms of technology and innovations, and along with these 18-19 sectors; they go beyond manufacturing, too. That is likely to also be one of the strongest building blocks of the Indian-Russian relationship.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.