Old and strong – Significance of Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s Visit to Russia | 29 December 2023 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • The article highlights the importance of India-Russia relations and the challenges faced by the two countries in maintaining their strategic partnership.


  • GS2: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests


  • Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar's recent five-day visit to Russia holds significant importance, given the special efforts made by both countries to ensure the success and productivity of the meetings. The visit is particularly noteworthy due to the atypical length of the visit and the rare high-level engagement during the Kremlin's holiday season.


  • The visit aimed to address concerns and perceptions regarding the India-Russia relationship, especially in the context of the Ukraine war and the decline in certain bilateral engagements.
  • Despite these challenges, the visit resulted in agreements related to nuclear power projects, connectivity, trade, and joint military production, indicating that bilateral relations are on track.
  • Furthermore, the two countries continue to coordinate positions at the UN and SCO, and India affirmed its commitment to increasing imports of Russian hydrocarbons despite Western sanctions.
  • Agreements on Nuclear, Connectivity, Trade, and Military Production:
    • Nuclear: Further collaboration in future Kudankulam nuclear power projects.
    • Connectivity: Fostering connectivity between the two countries.
    • Trade: Resuming talks for the Eurasian Economic Union-India free trade agreement.
    • Military production: Joint military production.
  • Multilateral Cooperation and Defiance of Western Sanctions:
    • Multilateral cooperation: India and Russia continue to coordinate positions at the UN and SCO.
    • Defiance of Western sanctions: Mr. Jaishankar announced that imports of Russian hydrocarbons will continue to rise despite the West’s Russian sanctions.
  • Leadership Summit Resumption and Message to US and China: Mr. Jaishankar’s affirmation that the annual leadership summit will be resumed in 2024. This could be seen as a message to the US and China that India is not abandoning its relationship with Russia.

Way Forward:

  • Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar's visit to Russia has reaffirmed the enduring nature of the India-Russia relationship, demonstrated tangible progress in various areas of cooperation, and underscored the strategic significance of their partnership in the evolving global landscape. The visit has not only addressed concerns and perceptions but also set the stage for further strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the two countries.

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