By:-RAHUL KUMAR MISHRA||25 - Sep - 2019


After second world war, Cold war was started between United States of America and Soviet Union. Whole World was divided into two parts. Both nations attracted Third world countries (Under-developed countries) to cement its own situation. As it can be seen pair of Countries like India and Pakistan, North Korea and South Korea, Eastern Germany and Western Germany, etc. Soviet Union supported India, North Korea, Eastern Germany and United States of America extended cooperation to Pakistan, South Korea, West Germany. United States of America and Soviet Union gave its cooperation to each other’s enemy countries. In the reference of India and Pakistan, India found support from Soviet Union but Pakistan sat in the lap of United States of America. India and Pakistan locked horn in Kashmir. They both needed help from Super Power like United States of America and Soviet Union. Soviet Union gave India full support on Kashmir issue along with cooperation in space study.

According to Book “The Journey Beyond Three Seas”, Russian Traveller Mr. Afanasy Nikitin visited India between 1468 and 1472. After that Many Travellers from India had visited to Russia in 18th Century. Once Russian Tsar (KING) planned to attack on British-India, but assassination of Tsar, this plan was withdrawn by Russian Authority.

Traditionally, India and Soviet Union relation had been grown up by four sectors, Defence, Civil Nuclear, Anti-Terrorism and Space. The IRIGC (INDIA – RUSSIA INTERGOVERNMENTAL COMMISSION) is main body that conducts every year summit of both nations. Apart from IRIGC, India and Russia collaborated each other in other organizations like United Nations, BRICS, G20 and Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Russia supported publicly for United Nations Security Council’s permanent member.

At present, India is the second largest importer of Russia in defence sector. Almost 68% military equipment comes from Russia. India has two consulates-general in Saint Petersburg and Vladivostok along with Indian Embassy in Moscow. Russia has also set four consulates-general in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai along with its embassy in New Delhi. According to BBC World Service 2014, 85% of Russian Nationals think positive for India, only 9% differs. 


Modern Relationship between India and Soviet Union had been started in 1950. Soviet Union also itself wanted to connect to third world (Under-Developed Nations). First of all, The then Indian Prime Minister Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru visited to Soviet Union in 1955. First Secretary of the Communist Party Mr. Nikita Khrushchev also toured India. Soviet Union announced its support to India on Kashmir Issue and Portuguese’s Goa. With strong relation with India, Soviet Union had bad impact with China. Although Soviet Union kept itself indifferent from India-China war in 1962. Soviet Union gave more military cooperation to India than China. Soviet Union agreed to give India Technology of MIG-21 Fighter Plane for manufacturing.

Demise of Nehru Jee, Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri became Prime Minister of India. Operation Gibraltar took place in Kashmir. Soviet Union gave full support to India as per United States of America provided strategically support to Pakistan. Soviet Union also played a Peace Maker for both Nations.  


Soviet Union helped India a lot during 1971 war with Pakistan. The then American President Mr. Nixon threatened India if India would do anything in Eastern Pakistan (Now Bangladesh). At this delicate time, Soviet Union was standing with India. Finally Pakistan was divided into two Nations. Both Nations had signed same year INDO-SOVIET TREATY OF FRIENDSHIP AND COOPERATION in August 1971. 

During Janata Party Government, Relation between India and Soviet Union did not suffer because Soviet Union gave additional military weapons and economic assistance. Although Janata Party during election campaign criticised Indira Gandhi Government to keep close relation with Soviet Union. Although Janata Party Government also interacted western nations like United States of America, Great Britain, France, etc. 


After assassination of Mrs. Indira Gandhi in 1984, The then Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi kept a strong relation with Soviet Union. He visited to Soviet Union in 1985 and signed long-term economic agreements. The then General Secretary Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev paid a visit to India in 1986 and demanded a help from India to develop ASIAN COLLECTIVE SECURITY SYSTEM. India did not do same as he told. At this time due to the Cold War with United States of America, Soviet Union was on the verge of its disintegration.

When Mr. PV Narsimha Rao became the Prime Minister of India, then Soviet Union have broken and ten countries were made. Narsimha Rao Government was also on bankrupt, Fearless Prime Minister took timely decision and started a new era of Economy in India. He accepted LPG (liberalism, Privatization and Globalization). In this period, India was busy itself to launch new economic policy so no any significance changes took place India and Russia.

Now Soviet Union had become Russia so cooperation between India and Russia also changed. Its cooperation was not limited only for Military or Space, it increased its dimension with IRIGC, Vast Military Relations, Economic Relations, Free Trade Agreement, etc. Such changes took place after 2000.


In 2000, Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin wrote an article in News Paper HINDU, “The declaration on Strategic Partnership between India and Russia signed in October 2000 became a truly historic step.” The then Prime Minister of India Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee forwarded the policy of Mr. PV Narsimha Rao. Both Nations have started IRIGC (The Indo-Russion Inter-Governmental Commission). It is an annually summit of leadership of both Nations. Mr. Manmohan Singh also became torch bearer of relationship between India and Russia.  From 2014, Relationship between India and Russia have been more strong than before. Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has made a special bond with Russia and Russian Leadership. In 2017, Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin wrote an article in  News Paper The Times of India on 70 years of friendship between India & Russia just before when Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi was about to reach Russia for celebrating this event.


Soviet Union was prominent partner in defence. When Soviet Union was broken, Military Cooperation was status qua. India buys 68% of its military requirements from Russia. Only 14% from United States of America and 7% from Israel are purchased Military equipment. As per MAKE IN INDIA Policy, India signed 200 KA-226T Twin Engine Helicopter in which 140 is being made in India and rest of 60, Russia will make for India. Brahmos Cruise Missile is being constructed by both nations in which 50.5% share is with India and 49.5% with Russia. At present, this is not only weapons, but also spread over it. Both Nations shook hands for Research and Development, Training, Service to Service Contacts, Joint Military Exercises, etc. In 2012, Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin visited India and signed for 42 new Sukhois Figher Jets and renovation of old Sukhois Fighter Jets. Both Countries are being indulged to make 5th Generation Fighter Jets with 200 Fighter Jets. It would be completed by 2022. In October, 2018 India signed an agreement with Russia for four S-400 Missile Defence System. It is world most powerful missile defence system. INS Vikramaditya Air Craft Carrier was re-built by Russia.


Economic Relations between both countries is on swing. Sectors like Machinery, Electronics, Aerospace, Automobile, Commercial Shipping, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Fertilizers, Industrial Metals, Petroleum Products, Coal, etc. are zooming on economic corridor of both nations. Bilateral trade in 2001 was $1.5 Billion, but in 2012 it was $11 Billion. Now both nations have set a target $30 Billion by 2025. Russia has started to cooperate in Make in India Policy. Both nations agreed for maintenance of old fighter jets like Sukhoi 100, MIG-21, etc. This work would be done through MAKE IN INDIA Policy. India is largest hub of cutting and polishing of diamonds. Bilateral trade would be simplified with tariff for diamonds. India persuaded Russia to build 20 more nuclear power units in next 20 years. North Pole of Earth which is mostly part of Russia has huge uranium, oil and gas. India Giant GAIL is cooperating Russian Companies to find it.


ONGC took 20% share in Russian Oil Giant Company Sakhalin – l for Oil and Gas project in the Russian federation and invested US $1.7 Billion. The Gazprom, a Russian company and Gas Authority of India established a joint development of a block in the bay of Bengal. Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project is a very good precedent of energy sector. It constructed two units of 1000 MW each in Tamilnadu.


There is a long history in space sector for cooperation since independent. India’s first satellite ARYABHATA, named on Indian Astronomer, was launched by Soviet Union in 19th April 1975. First Indian space visitor, Indian Air Force Pilot Mr. Rakesh Sharma was launched by Soviet Union in 1984 with SOYUZ – T-11. Russia and India were together for Lander in CHANDRAYAAN – 2, but due to delay, India decided to make its own lander.


Collaboration in Science & Technology for both nations is going through a strong bond. Development of SARAS Air Craft, Semi-Conductor Products, High Purity Materials, Ayurveda, etc. are on ILTP (INTEGRATED LONG-TERM PROGRAM).


The North-South Transport Corridor is the ship, rail and the road way to move freight among India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia. This route will cover India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia through ship, rail and the road. Main objective of this project is to trade among these countries efficiently. Transport costs were reduced by $2500 per 15 Tons of cargo. This route is also in consideration mode to include Armenia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.


Both nations vowed to fight terrorism globally. Russia always supports Indian stand on Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan sponsored Terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is on Russian radar. Russian announced globally that Re-Organizing of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh is totally internal matter of India. Russia escalated what India have done on Article 370 and Article 35A, it is constitutional. It is mentioned in Indian Constitution. This bill was passed 2/3 majority in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha respectively.


India and Soviet Union (Now Russia) are a precedent of friendship. Both nations understand importance to each other. Russia always supported India on Kashmir Issue and helped during adverse situations like 1971 war, Kargil war, Blacklisting Pakistan’s Terrorists and groups in United Nations, etc. India also gave full thumb up to Russia. After broken down of Soviet Union, India cooperated Russia economically. Russia was banned by Western Nations in WTO and G-8, but India bats for Russia to include G-7 and WTO. India invested money in Russia through GAIL (Gas Authority of India Limited) for Natural Gas and Crude Oil. India and Russia both are all weather friend in International Politics and Relation.

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