The Key Features of Relations between Russia and India in the Context of a Shifting Balance of Power in Asia
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St. Petersburg State University
Publication date: 2020-06-17
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2018;54(2):51–78
This paper intends to answer the question of how Sino–Indian controversies, specifically relations between India and the US, and Sino–Russian cooperation influence the ties between Russia and India. The paper offers an analysis of the key fields of cooperation between Russia and India, which are mainly defined by a strong interdependence in a number of areas, such as military and technical cooperation and nuclear energy. Through the lens of the neorealist paradigm, the current relations between Russia and India are studied in the context of each country’s relations with the US and the PRC. The balance of power in Asia is shifting towards China due to its dynamic foreign policy and economic expansion during the past decade. As a result, China’s increasing activities in Asia reduce India’s potential for development, while a worsening confrontation between the US and Russia forces Moscow to drift towards Beijing. The paper concludes that the actual cooperation between Russia and India is mutually beneficial and to a large extent supports New Delhi’s ambitions to contain a shift in the balance of power in Asia. However, the escalating Sino–Indian controversies and a growing rapprochement between Russia and China could cause a deterioration in relations between Russia and India. This, in turn, could predetermine India’s choice in favour of a close rapport with the US in the longer term.