Bear hug: On India strengthening
relations with Russia (The Hindu)
Mains Paper 2: International Relations
Prelims level: Look East, Act East’ policy
Mains level: Key agreements behind India and Russia
- Unveiling the Russian edition of India’s ‘Look East, Act East’ policy,
Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged on Thursday to extend a $1 billion Line
of Credit to Russia’s Far East region (RFE).
- Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, set up by Russian
President Vladimir Putin to attract investment to the farthest outlying East
Siberian and Arctic-pole areas of the country.
- Mr. Modi said that the announcement of the LOC, expected to help finance
Indian business projects in the region, will be the “take-off point for Act
Far East”, and will further strengthen bilateral ties.
- Mr. Modi’s visit saw several initiatives being launched towards
increasing the value of economic ties between the two countries, which, at
approximately $10 billion in terms of bilateral trade.
- Although lags far behind their strategic partnership and defence
relationship. In the past year alone, India has contracted defence deals
worth about $14.5 billion from Russia.
- Chief among the 50 agreements signed this week were those on energy
exploration and procurement, including a specific MoU on cooperation on LNG
supplies to India, and a maritime route from Vladivostok to Chennai
which will be used for energy trade as well.
Key proposals made between two countries
- The two sides also agreed on a five-year ‘roadmap’ for cooperation on
prospecting for hydrocarbons and LNG in the Far East and the Arctic,
building on a history of Indian investment in oilfields in the region.
- Beyond the bilateral aspect, the PM’s pivot to Russia’s Far East has
far-reaching strategic implications. The emphasis on energy from this region
is as much a bid to benefit from explorations and trade routes in the Arctic
that are becoming accessible due to global warming.
- It is reflective of India’s desire to diversify its energy sources away
from an unstable West Asia. The investment in the Far East, which is often
neglected given that Russia is seen as a European power in the post-Soviet
era, also underlines India’s desire to draw Russia into its strategic forays
in the Indo-Pacific.
- The government has said it welcomes cooperation with other countries for
investments in RFE, notably Japan, which has in the past few years warmed up
to Russia, despite their bitter territorial dispute in the region.
- This interest is seen as India’s attempt to not only keep a traditional
friend close, but to ensure some space in the current clinch between Russia
- China’s cross-border investment in RFE accounts for 71% of the total
direct foreign investment of $33 billion. Above all, the push to ‘Act Far
East’ allows India to demonstrate its commitment to an area of concern for
Moscow, thus reassuring its traditional partner that in an increasingly
- India’s push to ‘Act Far East’ strengthens relations with traditional
ally Russia. India is confident of working with multiple alignments, even if
they are at cross purposes with each other.
Q.1) Which of the following state government has recently notified to
increase in reservations for OBCs and Scheduled Castes in state government jobs
and education and will be having a total of 72 % reservation, the highest in the
B. Tamil Nadu
Q.1) What are the significance behind India’s push to ‘Act Far East’ strengthens
relations with traditional ally Russia?