Russia has identified India and China as its main allies on the world stage, according to a new foreign policy strategy adopted by President Vladimir Putin. The new 42-page document has singled out ties with China and India, stressing the importance of deepening ties and coordination with friendly sovereign global centers of power and development located on the Eurasian continent.
According to the document, Russia will continue to build up a particularly privileged strategic partnership with India with a view to enhancing and expanding cooperation in all areas on a mutually beneficial basis. The document also places special emphasis on increasing the volume of bilateral trade, strengthening investment and technological ties, and ensuring their resistance to destructive actions of unfriendly states and their alliances.
"India is an important strategic partner for Russia. We share a long-standing relationship, and we intend to take this relationship to greater heights. We will work closely with India to build a stronger and more prosperous world," said President Putin.
India and Russia have shared close ties over the decades. Russia has been the largest supplier of weapons to India, accounting for nearly 50% of the latter's arms imports from 2016-2020. Both China and India have also ramped up oil imports from sanctions-hit Russia amid the war in Ukraine.
India has maintained a neutral stance over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which completed a year on February 24. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has advocated for a peaceful resolution to the conflict through dialogue. Last year, PM Modi told Putin that "today's era is not an era of war."
The new foreign policy strategy also outlines Russia's intent to enhance the capacity and international role of the interstate association of BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the RIC (Russia, India, China) and other interstate associations and international organizations, as well as mechanisms with strong Russian participation.
The document states that Russia intends to help adapt the world order to the realities of a multipolar world. It further emphasizes the need to enhance coordination among global centers of power and development on the Eurasian continent.
The new foreign policy strategy comes at a time when Russia is facing increasing pressure from the West over its actions in Ukraine and its alleged interference in the 2020 US Presidential election. The adoption of the new strategy signals Russia's intent to deepen ties with friendly countries and counter the increasing pressure from the West.