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1971 Indo-Soviet pact most consequential international treaty by India since Independence: envoy

The 1971 Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation with then Soviet Union was perhaps the most consequential international pact entered into by India since Independence, said D. B. Venkatesh Varma, Indian envoy to Russia, at an event to mark 50 years of the historic agreement that was concluded on August 9.

Separately, the Russian Embassy said the two countries held discussions on the possible formats for India’s participation in the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) 2021 and St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2022, the members of the Indian delegation, business programme events and agreements the countries may sign.

“It was not a military alliance. On the contrary, it strengthened the basis for India’s strategic autonomy, and its capacity for independent action,” Mr. Varma said in the Indian Embassy in Moscow. The 1971 India-Pakistan war led to the creation of Bangladesh, he noted.

Alignment of interests

The treaty symbolised an alignment of interests in the face of regional and international challenges. It also symbolised an “extraordinary convergence of national interest of both countries on the most critical issues of war and peace.” While the Treaty was of historical importance, concluded for an era that “has gone by,” its geopolitical underpinnings remain of enduring value, reflected in the close partnership between India and Russia in the 21st century, characterised as special and privileged Strategic Partnership, he pointed out.

On August 6, the Russian President and Executive Secretary of the EEF organizing committee Anton Kobyakov held a meeting in Moscow with Mr. Varma, a Russian Embassy statement stated.

“‘We consider it very important to expand cooperation in the Eurasian Economic Community space and also continue the dialogue on the North-South international transport corridor project whose implementation will significantly expand our trade opportunities,” Mr. Kobyakov said.

Mr. Varma observed that India was ready to contribute to the business programme of the EEF. “We are interested in organising a Russia–India–Japan trilateral meeting as well as meetings at the level of the federal ministers of Russia and India. We also look forward to expanding Russian-Indian business contacts at the regional level,” he stressed.


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Printable version | Oct 29, 2021 3:56:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/1971-indo-soviet-pact-most-consequential-international-treaty-by-india-since-independence-envoy/article35888267.ece

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