fifty years ago August 10, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (August 10, 1971): Indo-Soviet Defence Treaty signed

India and the Soviet Union to-day [New Delhi, August 9] signed a 20-year treaty of peace, friendship and co-operation which offers credible assurances to India of Soviet assistance in the event of an attack by China or Pakistan. The historic treaty provides that if either country is attacked — or threatened with an attack — the two contracting parties will immediately enter into mutual consultations to take “appropriate effective measures” to remove such threat and ensure their peace and security. The treaty does not specifically mention China or Pakistan but the wording of the mutual assistance provisions and the context in which it has been signed make it abundantly clear that it is directed against them. And it has been made equally clear to the United States that this virtual Indo-Soviet alliance is the direct consequence of its overtures to China and support to Pakistan. India and the Soviet Union have an understanding under this treaty to abstain from providing any assistance to any third country that engages in armed conflict with either of them. They will not also enter into or participate in any military alliance directed against each other and will further refrain from entering into any obligation secret or public with other countries which is incompatible with the spirit of this treaty.

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