External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, on September 26, described India-Russia ties as being very stable and said both countries made efforts to ensure the relationship was in good shape. The Minister was providing context for the relationship at a conversation at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, where he is on a visit for the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
There had been good and bad periods in the U.S.-Russia, Russia-China, and Europe-Russia relationships over the last 70 years, but India’s relationship with Russia had been “very, very, steady”, he said.
Part of the reason for this was an understanding in both countries that as Asian powers they had a structural basis for having to and wanting to get along.
“And so we take great care to make sure the relationship is working,” Mr. Jaishankar said while answering a question on how Russia’s growing proximity to Beijing would impact its ties with India.
Russia has historically seen itself as a European power though it is spread across Asia and Europe, Mr. Jaishankar said. Since the invasion of Ukraine in February of that year, its relations with Europe and the West have been severely disrupted so it was turning to Asia where there is significant economic activity and because it is also an Asian power, though it has not seen itself as that, according to Mr. Jaishankar..
“I would actually predict that Russia would make very strenuous efforts to build alternative relationships, a lot of which would be in Asia,” he said. This would be reflected in trading and economic relationships, and possibly in other domains.
While the Russia-China relationship may have a “particular salience “ in this regard, India’s own relationship with Russia has been “extremely steady” since the mid-1950s, as per the Minister.