India-Russia Bilateral Coordination at UN

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    • India and Russia recently agreed to “deepen cooperation” on counter-terrorism issues and enhance bilateral coordination at the United Nations.

    More about the UN consultation between India and Russia

    • About:
      • It is the third such UN consultation between India and Russia in the past year.
      • Background:
        • Recently India abstained from yet another vote at the UN General Assembly that called for reparations to be paid by Russia for the war in Ukraine.
        • Apart from a few procedural votes, India has refused to support any vote at the UN Security Council, UN General Assembly and other UN agencies that have criticised Russia since the Russian President first ordered strikes on Ukraine.
      • Significance of this bilateral consultation:
        • The bilateral consultations reaffirmed mutual commitment to further strengthen bilateral coordination and constructive cooperation at the UN platform on the basis of its Charter 
        • It is also in line with the special and privileged strategic partnership between Moscow and New Delhi.
    • Other issues of discussion:
      • On UNSC:
        • Both sides held wide-ranging discussions on issues on the UN Security Council agenda and recent developments. 
        • The two sides also discussed India’s presidency of the UNSC in December 2022, which will be India’s last month in the UNSC, as its two-year elected tenure comes to an end
      • On India’s concerns on UN peacekeeping:
        • During the talks, “special attention” was also paid to the problems of UN peacekeeping
          • It is an area where India has frequently raised concerns at the UN, especially after the deaths of Indian personnel in 2022.
      • Global issues:
        • Both countries also discussed the situation in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Myanmar, and the conflict on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.

    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.
    • Trade and Economic Relations: 
      • Both sides revised targets of increasing bilateral investment to US $50 billion and bilateral trade to US $30 billion by 2025. 
        • India’s merchandise imports from Russia include petroleum oil and other fuel items, fertilizers, coffee and tea, spices, nuclear reactors, and animal and vegetable fats, among others.
    • Nuclear Energy: 
      • Russia recognizes India as a country with advanced nuclear technology with an impeccable non-proliferation record. 
      • Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) is being built in India with Russian cooperation. 
    • Space Cooperation: 
      • Both sides cooperate in the peaceful uses of outer space, including satellite launches, GLONASS navigation system, remote sensing and other societal applications of outer space.
    • Science & Technology: 
      • The Working Group on Science and Technology functioning under IRIGC-TEC, the Integrated Long Term Programme (ILTP) and the Basic Science Cooperation Programme are the three main institutional mechanisms for bilateral Science and Technology cooperation.
    • Cultural Cooperation: 
      • There is a strong tradition of Indian studies in Russia. 
      • There is strong interest among Russian people in Indian dance, music, yoga and Ayurveda.
    • Defence and Security Cooperation:
      • India has longstanding and wide-ranging cooperation with Russia in the field of defence. 
      • BrahMos Missile System as well as the licensed production in India of SU-30 aircraft and T-90 tanks are examples of such flagship cooperation.
      • Both sides concluded agreements on the supply of S-400 air defence systems, construction of frigates under Project 1135.6 and shareholders agreement on the formation of a joint venture to manufacture Ka-226T helicopters in India.
      • The two countries also hold exchanges and training exercises between their armed forces annually termed INDRA.

    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: TH