Friends in Need: Whither the Russia-India Strategic Partnership?
This paper explores the latest developments in key spheres of the Russia-India relationship in order to identify the state of bilateral ties at a time when South Asia has turned into an area of geopolitical contest of both global and regional powers.
While preserving some elements of “old friendship”, current Russia-India cooperation lacks any significant engagement in trade and economy, scientific and cultural exchanges, while their political outlook toward the regional processes in South Asia is not in full congruence. The strategic partnership between the two countries boils down to their collaboration in two major spheres: defense and energy. Yet, despite resembling a purely sectoral cooperation, the bilateral ties have been quite resistant to an array of internal and external challenges: from the instability of the 1990s to the US sanctions against Russia that emerged as a problem for both Moscow and New Delhi in 2018.
Dr. Aleksei Zakharov is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.