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India And Russia Show The Resilience Of Their Grand Friendship For The Regional Peace

The unfolding of the Afghanistan crisis has brought out the finer element of India- Russia bilateral relations. Beyond, it is also about the resurgence of Russia and its effective foreign policy at work in the region. That is also a clear signal for India to rework on such regional issues with its trusted partner—Russia.

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In the wake of Afghanistan crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with on telephone with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

The leaders discussed the unfolding situation in Afghanistan and its implications for the region and the world. They expressed the view that it was important for the two strategic partners to work together and instructed their senior officials to remain in touch.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress in the ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’ between both countries despite the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic. They appreciated the ongoing bilateral cooperation in the fight against the Covid pandemic, especially in the supply and production of ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine.

The leaders also touched upon the forthcoming multilateral engagements, including the BRICS Summit, meeting of the Council of SCO Heads of State, and India’s participation in the Eastern Economic Forum.

Prime Minister Modi said that he looked forward to President Putin’s visit to India for the next Bilateral Summit. The two leaders agreed to remain in touch on bilateral and global issues, in particular, the situation in Afghanistan.

India’s approach on Afghanistan

Has the U.S. hasty and chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan meant an ambiguous policy and gaps within U.S. administration? Beyond it is also about the resurgence of Russia and its effective foreign policy at work in the region. That is also a clear signal for India to rework on such regional issues with its trusted partner—Russia.  

Recently, India's Deputy NSA Pankaj Saran met Russian NSA Nikolai Patrushev  in Moscow & had discussed Afghanistan. The strengths of India -Russia security cooperation is visible on the issue with such constant engagements.

India will assume the presidency of both BRICS and SCO in September which will be occasions for meetings between PM Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia, which is a major Eurasian power, has been active as a responsible, stabilizing power in the region. Russia and India realize that such merging security challenges require active engagements. The greater aspect of India- Russia bilateral relations are evident as the similar concerns and point of convergence in the region.  

Moscow could be helpful for New Delhi in reaching out to various Afghan players. Like Russia, India is concerned about the spread of extremism and radicalism beyond Afghan borders, and is not in favour of establishing an Islamic emirate. Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar has noted the need for the two sides to work together to ensure that the ‘economic, social, and democratic’ progress made in the past years is preserved. Both the parties would benefit from a stable Afghanistan established through political dialogue. The most important aspect is the connectivity plans for which India is clearly aligned with the Russia. Such emerging trends bring back the element of close cooperation and collaboration together. 

“We have got some real experience in Afghanistan but let us be very clear, the situation doesn’t require foreign military involvement. We are not considering this option. We will be acting through the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) to fortify the borders, if required. It will be important for all of us to maintain coordination. India has been training army personnel. So too is Russia. All options are possible,” said Russian Deputy Head of Mission Roman Babushkin at a media conference.

Russia has said that it is not in hurry to take a call on ultra-conservative rulers.