India-Russia Maritime Cooperation

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    Syllabus; GS2/ International Relations

    In Context

    • India and Russia discussed ways to widen maritime cooperation in the recently held  meet for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.
      • During the meeting, both the leaders discussed wide range of items of maritime communication between India and Russia to widen maritime cooperation

    Key Highlights of the meet

    • Both sides agreed on the usage of new transport corridors like the Northern Sea Route (NSR) as well as the Eastern Maritime Corridor (EMC) between Vladivostok and Chennai. 
      • The Eastern Maritime Corridor is a proposed sea route between Chennai, India, and Vladivostok, Russia, passing through the Sea of Japan, the South China Sea, and the Malacca Strait.
      • The potential cargo base for the alternate routes will be coking coal, oil, LNG and fertilizers which are present in sufficient quantities in the Far East.
    • Establishment of India Russia Joint Maritime Commission to facilitate constructive discussion on various issues regarding development of the NSR.
    • India and Russia agreed to train Indian seafarers in Polar and Arctic waters at the Russian Maritime Training Institute, named after GI Admiral Nevelsky, which is equipped with simulator training facilities, in Vladivostok, Russia.

    Benefits of Northern Sea Route (NSR)

    • The NSR is a global transport project. Its development can provide economic benefits to both Russia and non-regional states. For India, this is an opportunity to increase sales of shipbuilding products and gain income from participation in the general logistics business in northern latitudes.

    Benefits of Eastern Maritime Corridor (EMC)

    • EMC is estimated to reduce the time required to transport cargo between Indian and Russian Ports of the Far-East Region by up to 16 days.
    • This will further open trade opportunities with Southeast Asian nations like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

    India-Russia Relations

    • India and Russia have a history of strong strategic, military, economic, and diplomatic relationships.
    • Political Relations:
      • The Annual Summit meeting between the Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation is the highest institutionalized dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between India and Russia. 
      • So far 20 Annual Summit meetings have taken place alternatively in India and Russia. 
    • Intergovernmental Commissions: 
      • There is regular high-level interaction between the two countries.
      • The IRIGC (India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission): 
        • It is the main body that conducts affairs at the governmental level between both countries. Both countries are members of international bodies including the UN, BRICS, G20 and SCO.
      • Two Inter-Governmental Commissions: 
        • One on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC), co-chaired by EAM and the Russian DPM, and 
        • Another on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC- MTC) co-chaired by Russian and Indian Defence Ministers, meet annually.

    Eastern Economic Forum

    • About: An international forum, organised each year in Vladivostok, Russia. 
    • Establishment: In 2015, by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation.
    • Purpose: Platform for the discussion of key issues in the world economy, regional integration, Industrial & technological sectors. 
    • Far East: Resource-rich easternmost part of Russia; covers more than a third of the country’s territory (1/3rd of all coal reserves).

    India & Far East

    • In 2019 India announced a commitment to an “Act Far-East” policy.
      • This policy is an important part of a special and privileged strategic partnership with Russia.
    • India has also made significant investments in the Russian far east in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diamonds.
    • India can also have cooperation in the mobility of talent. Indian talent has contributed to the development of many resource-rich regions of the world.
      • The talent and professionalism of Indians can bring about rapid development in the Russian Far East.

    India’s Stand on Russia’s War with Ukraine & way ahead

    • India’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been distinctive among the major democracies and among U.S. strategic partners. 
    • Despite its discomfort with Moscow’s war, New Delhi has adopted studied public neutrality toward Russia
    • It has abstained from successive votes in the UN Security Council, General Assembly, and Human Rights Council that condemned Russian aggression in Ukraine and thus far has refused to openly call out Russia as the instigator of the crisis. 
    • India has been under immense indirect pressure from Western nations that have openly condemned Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. 
    • India has been pressing for the resolution of the crisis through diplomacy and dialogue.

    Source: PIB