Friday, March 17, 2023

Military and Economic Cooperation Between Russia and India and Implications for Pakistan

Russia and India have broadened their military and economic cooperation by signing many deals and cooperation pacts in different sectors.

  • What deals have been signed?
  • What is the purpose of these pacts?
  • How will these deals impact global geopolitics?
  • How will these deals impact Pakistan?


Russia-India Military and Economic Cooperation

On 6th December 2021, Vladimir Putin, Russian president, and Narendra Modi, Indian PM, signed around 28 deals and agreements for military and economic cooperation between the two countries. These agreements were signed during Putin’s visit to India for the 21st India-Russia summit. The military and economic cooperation amid changing geopolitical situations proved to be vital for both countries.

Before Putin’s visit, Sergey Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu (Russia’s Foreign and Defense Minister) met with the Indian foreign and defense minister to set the details of the deals.

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Deals and Agreements Signed

Following are the detail of deals that have been signed between the two countries:

  • Concerning Covid19 situation around the globe, India and Russia encouraged bilateral relations and discussed movement between the two countries.
  • Both countries decided to resume their flights including cargo flights.
  • The movement of medicines and medical equipment was also discussed.
  • Agreements on bilateral trade include the following details:
    • Resume bilateral trade.
    • Increase the post-pandemic trade
    • Increase trade between both increased by 38% in 2021 as compared to 2019-2020.
    • Long-term trade relations to achieve $30 billion trade goal by 2025.
  • India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC)
    • Formation of 12 working groups for a fast and productive working on economic front concerning trade.
    • Formation of subgroups to finish the pending work of IRIGC-TEC.
    • Work on urban development including transport, railway, and roads.
  • India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue (IRSED), 3rd edition discusses cooperation in the following areas:
    • Agriculture
    • Tourism
    • Banking
    • IT
  • Military cooperations were discussed on December 6, 2021, including:
    • Joint military exercises.
    • A joint production of military equipment with spare parts.
    • Forming a system of joint quality control and monitoring progress of military forces.
    • Russia’s supply of military equipment including a long-range missile system to India.
    • Deal for manufacturing around 6 lacs Russian AK-203 rifles in India.

Around 28 deals and agreements have been signed between India and Russia for military and economic cooperation. Moreover, India has increased its purchase of military equipment and systems from Russia even on the verge of tarnishing ties with the US. How will these growing ties between India and Russia impact global geopolitics?

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Impact of India-Russia Growing Ties

The current global geopolitics has become sensitive to a slight change in relations between big countries. These changes in international relations are dependent on military and economic cooperation between the countries. The hegemony of the US is under threat because China expanded economic deals and trade around the world. Russia and India are included in the biggest economies of the world along with China and US.

Russia’s strained ties with the US are one of the reasons for Russia to approach China and India for military and economic cooperation. These growing ties are a threat to the US. It does not want to lose its key ally – India – to Russia or China. Furthermore, India shares strained ties with China because of the Ladakh dispute and India’s constant interruption in China’s biggest development project in Pakistan – CPEC.

However, the current tensed post-pandemic global economy is a reason for many military and economic cooperation among countries. If India’s ties with China are resolved or head toward a solution, the US will lose another key ally from its bloc. There is no prediction of this happening but China’s economic power is one of the biggest in the region, which can benefit the regional economy. Russia can serve as the mending link between China and India – one of the biggest fear of the US. This would change the game of regional and global politics.

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Implications for Pakistan

Pakistan has been focusing on mending or strengthening its regional ties including countries like Russia, China. Turkey. Malaysia. In the recent Biden democracy summit where China and Russia were not invited by the US, Pakistan did not attend the two-day virtual summit. This move is taken as a vote of confidence in favor of China. With Russia’s strained ties with the US, Pakistan’s move can also be interpreted to be in favor of Russia.

In November 2021 Pakistan and Russia signed MoU for trade cooperation, commerce, and starting enterprises to strengthen the economic ties between the two countries. Other than that, the countries discussed global economic and political conditions. In September, Russia and Pakistan signed a military cooperation deal in the third round of the Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC). The current military and economic cooperation between Pakistan and Russia display a strong tie. Therefore, Russia’s growing ties with India are not treated as a threat to Pakistan for now. Moreover, Russia has announced that ties with India do not close doors with other countries.

On the contrary, India has played a prominent role in severing Pakistan’s ties with other countries. There is always a possibility of India’s role in displaying Pakistan’s name in a negative light.

There is no doubt that India is a bigger market for as compared to Pakistan, which is why there’s more investment by foreign countries in India. Under the current military and economic cooperation between Russia and India, more growth in the economy and diplomatic ties is expected. Pakistan needs to lookout for regional states and strengthen its ties for regional and national stability. In simple words, the impact of India’s growing ties with Russia or any other state will impact Pakistan based on what Pakistan has to offer to these states for its own ties.

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