On the occasion of the 76th Independence Day of India held on 15th August 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Republic of India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. His message was: “Please accept the warmest congratulations on the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, Over the decades of the independent development, your country has achieved universal success, in economic, social, scientific and technical fields. India also rightfully enjoys considerable prestige on the world stage and plays a constructive role in resolving pressing issues on the International Agenda”.
On the 12th of March 2021, The Indian Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi had launched “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” which is dedicated to the people of India who have been instrumental in bringing India so far from its nascent stage in 1947 till present. Flagship initiatives such as “Har Ghar Tiranga” have been a part of the grand “Mahotsav” Several theme wise events and themes have been launched which include Freedom Struggle, Ideas @75, Actions @75, Achievements@75 and resolve @75.
Vladimir Putin gave an additional statement which is: “I am sure that by the joint efforts, that we will ensure the development of the whole range of productive interests ties for the benefit of the people in strengthening the security and stability ties at regional and global level”. He also stressed on the importance of Indo-Russian Relations. Kremlin and New Delhi also are members of international organisations such as “BRICS” (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and United Nations.
Apart from Narendra Modi, He too congratulated India’s new 15th President, “Draupadi Murmu”. One of the key foundations of India and its foreign policy are its relations with Russia. Both countries have had robust ties in the field of economy, military, political and cultural ties and have signed several strategic partnerships. One of which is “India Russia Strategic Partnership” (October 2000). The Indo Russian Strategic Partnerships have five key pillars namely: politics, defence, counter terrorism and space. A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries is underway.
Putin and also spoke of people-to-people relations between India and Russia. The Russian Federation also has a considerable diaspora of Indian community. There are approximately 15,000 Indians in Russia. According to Ministry of External Affairs, there are 500 Indian Businessmen and 4,500 students studying in Russia. Most of them are enrolled in engineering and medical studies.
The Hindustani Samaj, set up in 1957, has been one of India’s oldest organisations in Russia. The Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Center (JNCC) conducts and organises in yoga, dance, music. More than twenty colleges and universities teach “Hindi” to Russians. Russians too are very interested in Indian Culture. According to a BBC World Report, more than 85% of Russians consider Indians as friendly people. In the military sphere, India has purchased majority of its primary weapon systems from Russia. Primary Weapon Systems include (Tanks, Fighter Aircraft, Battleships and submarines). Recently, India has purchased the S-400 Missile Defence System even when threatened by America’s CAATSAA Sanctions.
In a nutshell, Russia and India are strong partners when viewed from world affairs perspective. However, nothing is evergreen in the world of politics. There are obstacles which can threaten relations such as the increasing trilateral axis of Russia-China and Pakistan followed by the increase in friendly relations tilted towards the United States of America.