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Igor Ivanov

President of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (1998–2004)

Speech at the VII International conference “Russia — India: Contours of Cooperation in a Changing World Order”

I feel honoured to give a welcome address at today’s conference, co-organized by the Russian International Affairs Council and the Indian Council of World Affairs.

We are pleased to welcome the delegation of the Indian Council, which is our good partner and with which we regularly organize meetings and consultations in Moscow and in Delhi on the most pressing issues. Over the course of our today conference we will explore the stance that our two countries take as regards the most important items of the world agenda, as much as the issues of bilateral cooperation. We believe that such consultations are extremely important and useful to both sides.

We are all living in turbulent times. Large-scale regional conflicts may well turn into a global stand-off; economic, technology and other types of hybrid warfare crawl around the world; the arms control system, which took years to establish, is now eroding, while new arms race is running strong; the language of unilateral sanctions has largely displaced a culture of dialogue, which chips away at the more and more fragile system of international relations. What I have mentioned is a far cry from the complete list of issues that international community currently faces.

Speech at the VII International conference “Russia — India: Contours of Cooperation in a Changing World Order”

Dear Mr. Singh, Director-General of Indian Council of World Affairs,

Dear Ambassadors,

Dear Indian and Russian colleagues,

I feel honoured to give a welcome address at today’s conference, co-organized by the Russian International Affairs Council and the Indian Council of World Affairs.

We are pleased to welcome the delegation of the Indian Council, which is our good partner and with which we regularly organize meetings and consultations in Moscow and in Delhi on the most pressing issues. Over the course of our today conference we will explore the stance that our two countries take as regards the most important items of the world agenda, as much as the issues of bilateral cooperation. We believe that such consultations are extremely important and useful to both sides.

We are all living in turbulent times. Large-scale regional conflicts may well turn into a global stand-off; economic, technology and other types of hybrid warfare crawl around the world; the arms control system, which took years to establish, is now eroding, while new arms race is running strong; the language of unilateral sanctions has largely displaced a culture of dialogue, which chips away at the more and more fragile system of international relations. What I have mentioned is a far cry from the complete list of issues that international community currently faces.

We may have differences as to the root causes of these international problems. However, it is quite obvious that the world is now at a point when the need for the international order to be revised is hard to deny. This conclusion is shared by a majority of policy-makers, scholars, academics and experts. At the same time we see a clash of positions regarding the contours of a future world order.

Political bias in assessing the current and the future balance of power in the world remains a major setback on our path towards a new just and democratic world order.

Amid these circumstances, it is very important that engaged conversations between experts accompanied discussions on political level on relevant issues on the international agenda.

Russia and India are developing their relations of privileged strategic partnership on the base of mutual trust and respect for each other’s position. As was noted in President Putin’s greetings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of the nation’s Republic Day, this “fully meets the interests of our friendly people as it is in the line with strengthening security and stability both regionally and globally”.

Our turbulent times set new, higher standards for cooperation between experts and between think-tanks. The net value of new ideas, out of the box thinking, innovative approaches to burning international problems is growing. This puts special responsibility on institutions like our two Councils that include both high-level academic scholars and people with a lot of practical experience. I am sure that our discussions today will be candid, professional and intellectually rewarding.

Let me also use this opportunity to bring your attention to a report on Russia-India relations in Broader Geopolitical Context that has just been released by RIAC in cooperation with Synergia Foundation from Bangalore. I do hope that some of the ideas outlined in the Report might be relevant to our conversations today.

Once again, I warmly welcome our Indian colleagues, and I am confident that our today’s deliberations will be interesting and relevant.

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  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
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