Russia-India Relations: Stability Amidst Strategic Uncertainty
Special assessment rept.
ASIA-PACIFIC CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES HONOLULU HI
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Despite many predictions of its decline or even demise at the end of the Cold War, Russia-India strategic partnership has persisted and in certain areas such as military cooperation even deepened over the past fifteen years. There is national consensus in both countries for a strong and stable relationship with each other. India s rapprochement with the United States is uneven which requires New Delhi to stay close to traditional partners such as Russia, particularly when China remains a strategic rival or at least an unknown. Despite its close relations with Beijing, Moscow remains apprehensive of China and worries about becoming too dependent on China in the region. India supports Russia s preeminence in the former Soviet republics while Moscow continues to treat South Asia as largely an Indian domain. Russia and India promote a multipolar world because they consider U.S. predominance in international relations as harmful to their great power ambitions and interests. They also disagree with some of the United States approaches to the war on terrorism, which they see as being beset by double standards. The rise of Islamic radicalism, particularly in Afghanistan, and its spillover into Kashmir and Chechnya have become an additional motivator for a bilateral strategic partnership between Moscow and New Delhi. Russia and India offer each other mutual diplomatic support on the situation in Kashmir and Chechnya and closely interact in Afghanistan and Central Asia. At the same time, Moscow and New Delhi do not want to be constrained by their partnership in achieving broader strategic or economic goals. In the long term, the United States and China present more strategic and economic opportunities which, if successfully tapped, could reduce the level of Russo-Indian interaction.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
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