India, Russia ties among world’s steadiest of major relationships: Jaishankar
Russia has regularly demonstrated an ability to influence outcomes across regions, said Jaishankar
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday described India-Russia ties as among the steadiest of the major relationships in the world after World War II.
“Russians will surely recall the ups and downs in their ties with the United States, Europe, China or Japan, or for that matter, Turkey and Iran. On their part, objective Indians would also recognize that this was the case with them as well. Where India-Russia bilateral ties are concerned, there have been changes - even issues - from time to time,” the EAM said in his speech on India-Russia ties in a changing world,” at IMEMO, Moscow.
Highlighting India’s achievement, he said: “In the last quarter century, India has become the sixth largest economy, a nuclear weapon power, an IT Centre, a reservoir of global talent and an active shaper of global debates. Our interests and influence have grown well beyond the sub-continent and we are often perceived as first responders in crisis situations.”
As for Russia, he said its inherent strength as a Eurasian and Euro-Pacific power and its long-standing global status - whether as a P5 or what we can call as N2 - makes it unmistakably critical to the world order.
The EAM said Russia has regularly demonstrated an ability to influence outcomes across regions and issues. Its salience in domains that matter, like energy or technology, is especially noteworthy.
“Both nations have evolved even as our existence has become more globalized economically, connected virtually and driven technologically. It is not just that India and Russia are a good fit; it is equally that this continues dynamically even as both of them and the world itself undergo continuous changes,” Jaishankar said.
He described acceptance of multi-polarity is what suits the contemporary relationship of the two countries.
“To my mind, at the core of our contemporary relationship is the embrace of multi-polarity, both as a reality and as an aspiration. It is this conceptualization that has enabled us to smoothly maintain our relationship in comparison to others. Such an outlook guides our interaction with other nations and groupings and is obviously universal in application. It follows logically that a multi-polar world must have a multi-polar Asia as an essential constituent.”
“In the last few decades, India and Russia may have pursued their national trajectories energetically. But at the same time, they have harmonised them well, both intuitively and as a policy. Related to this is the rebalancing of the global order - economically, politically, even culturally,” he said
“We have been respectful, I would even say we have been appreciative, of each other’s identities and interests. Because there is no burden of history nor an ideological agenda, this too has been a comfortable and a reassuring exercise. Nevertheless, it is apparent that the weight of the variables in the world’s equation has changed, though again I would caution against being overly deterministic. Together, what this means is that our relationship rests on the foundation of a more democratic and diverse international order, one that is committed to sovereign equality of all states,” he added.
“An important reason why India and Russia readily accept multi-polarity is their strong sense of independence. Perhaps, such self-confidence is a natural outlook for large polities with a long history, a rich culture and a deep-rooted identity,” the EAM said.
“Our pasts may be different but what they do have in common is a clear sense of national interest and a strong sense of national resolve. We have dealt with each other long enough to know that these qualities are very much part of our basic character,” S Jaishankar said.