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Delhi Cooperation

Mainstream, VOL L No 44, October 20, 2012

Vital Contours of Moscow-
Delhi Cooperation

Wednesday 24 October 2012, by Mansoor Ali

Political analysts are of the view that India and Russia today have several concurring interests. Besides the systematic growth of bilateral relations—that have registered a steady development since the mid-fifties of the last century—both countries are committed to ease tensions in the Asia-Pacific region while ensuring the effective functioning of security systems. In this connection, against the backdrop of conflict situations involving the US, China, Japan and both Koreas, the Moscow-Delhi concerted actions have had a favourable impact on the whole situation in the region. India’s principal aim is to preserve stability in South-East Asia as well as the Far East (primarily in the context of guar-anteeing security of energy supply, including supplies from Russia) and it is sparing no effort to see that this stability remains intact. Cooperation with the Russian Federation in the sphere of energy is crucial for India and thus mutual interaction with Moscow becomes a key element in its strategy of securing the sea-lanes.

SUCCESSFUL Indo-Russian cooperation in the framework of the UN and BRICS has yielded positive results. This is precisely why there is a feeling among close observers that Delhi should broaden its collaboration in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). They are of the opinion that the Government of India must realise the economic importance of the Organisation for Delhi as it would enable India to participate in the joint projects of the SCO member-states. That would provide it with new perspectives in domestic security and help unfold additional avenues for dialogue with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

India and Russia share a common stand on the Iran nuclear problem. This is another vital and significant area in Moscow-Delhi cooperation for mutual benefit. It is in the interest of both states to find a solution to this vexed problem based on the principles of peaceful settlement and international law. Delhi stands to gain by supporting Moscow on the issue in the UN Security Council by exerting its influence as a functional non-permanent member of this body. Instead its vague position on this problem would benefit Iran’s opponents who are intending to further reinforce the sanctions regime. Such a position is fraught with the danger of the emergence of a new factor of instability in the region posing a threat to its national security.

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