Russia and India Still Have a Lot to Offer Each Other

Russia and India Still Have a Lot to Offer Each Other
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, and Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar following their talks in New Delhi, India, April 6, 2021 (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service photo via AP Images).

In late April, India and Russia announced the establishment of a “2+2” dialogue between each side’s ministers of defense and foreign affairs. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted at the time that this will “add further momentum to our strategic partnership.” Until recently, India had adopted this format only with Australia, Japan and the United States—the other members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, better known as the Quad—while Russia has an equivalent arrangement with only a few select countries.

The announcement comes at a time when geopolitical trends, as well as consequent foreign policy adjustments in both Moscow and New Delhi, have pulled the two powers in opposite directions, raising concerns about the future of their bilateral ties. A more comprehensive dialogue mechanism like the 2+2 could stabilize relations and help prevent further ruptures.

Principal among the two sides’ divergences is their drastically different perspectives on China and the United States. For India, China is its biggest external strategic challenge, and following last year’s bloody clashes along its disputed border with China, there is greater enthusiasm in New Delhi to openly embrace a closer security partnership with Washington. The U.S. also sees India as an indispensable partner in the Indo-Pacific region, and the two sides have deepened their collaborative relationship—characterized by robust defense trade, intelligence sharing and joint military exercises—in the past year. Many analysts in India believe that the country’s relationship with the U.S. is now its most substantive one, with some commentators even advocating abandoning India’s historical ties with Moscow in favor of Washington.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review