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India – Russia Strategic Dialogue: Opportunities and Challenges

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  • March 13, 2009 to March 14, 2009
    Only by Invitation


    DAY 1, March 13, 2009

    Registration: 0930- 0945 hrs

    Inaugural Session: 0945 - 1030 hrs

    • Welcome Address – Shri N. S. Sisodia
    • Keynote Address – Amb. K. Raghunath
    • Vote of Thanks

    Tea Break: 1030 - 1100 hrs

    Session 1 A: International Security: Indian and Russian Perspective (1100 - 1300 hrs)

    Chairperson: Amb. K. Raghunath

    • Russia and the West/NATO – Prof. Konstantin Khudoley
    • Russian Policies towards the US – Prof. Andrey Volodin
    • Rise of China – Dr. Sujit Dutta

    Lunch: 1300 - 1400 hrs

    Session 1 B: International Security: Indian and Russian Perspective (1400 - 1600 hrs)

    Chairperson: Amb. Rajiv Sikri

    • International Terrorism – Shri Vikram Sood
    • International Terrorism – Prof. Konstantin Khudoley
    • Nuclear Non-Proliferation/Disarmament – Dr. Vladimir Novikov
    • Nuclear Non-Proliferation/Disarmament – Dr Rajiv Nayan

    DAY 2, March 14, 2009

    Session 2: Regional Security Issues: Indian & Russian Perspective (0930 - 1130 hrs)

    Chairperson: Prof. Konstantin Khudoley

    • Instability in Pakistan-Afghanistan – Dr. Bakhtiyar Mirkasymov
    • Emerging Trends in Afghanistan and Pakistan: Implication for Regional Security – Dr. Arvind Gupta
    • Iranian Nuclear Issue – Dr. Vladimir Novikov
    • Security Issues in Central Asia & the Caucasus – Dr. Meena Singh Roy

    Tea Break: 1130 - 1145 hrs

    Session 3: Indo-Russian Partnership & Preparedness in the 21st Century (1145 - 1345 hrs)

    Chairperson: Shri N. S. Sisodia

    • Soviet/Post-Soviet Security Perspectives towards South Asia: An Historical Overview – Dr. Nisha Sahai Achuthan
    • Political Relations – Problems and Prospects – Dr. Anuradha Chenoy
    • Space and Science & Technology –Dr. Tatiana Shaumyan

    Lunch: 1345 - 1430 hrs

    Session 4: Indo-Russian Partnership & Preparedness in the 21st Century (1430 - 1630 hrs)

    Chairperson: Admiral (Retd) Arun Prakash

    • Trade, Investment & Commerce – Prof. Vladimir Lopatin
    • Trade, Investment & Commerce – Dr. Arun Mohanty
    • Defence Cooperation – Problems & Prospects – Dr. Tatiana Shaumyan
    • Defence Cooperation – Problems & Prospects – Dr. Thomas Mathew

    Concept Note

    1. Russia has staged a remarkable comeback after a decade of political and economic instability that followed the Soviet collapse in 1991. The country is seeking to counter the repudiation of its great power status while pressing for a strategic autonomy as against the earlier strategy of partnership with the West. This is clearly discernable from the Russian new foreign policy doctrine. While the repeat of a Cold War-like situation is unlikely, Russia is trying to stand up against the scenarios being drawn up by the West, including the expansion of NATO in the traditional Russian strategic neighborhood. Recent crisis in Georgia has sparked off a renewed tension between Russia and the West. Russia pledges to station new missiles in response to the US plans to place missile-defense shield in Eastern Europe.
    2. Among other things, Russia has floated a new idea for a Pan-European Security structure or a single Euro-Atlantic space from Vancouver to Vladivostok while also incorporating China and India to play a role for India in the Euro-Atlantic affairs. While Russia is likely to remain engaged with the issues concerning its relations with the West, especially in terms of developing a fresh relationship with the US, it would also be important to understand the future trend of Russia’s policy with regards to other regions such as west Asia, Central Asia, East Asia and South Asia. Russia’s relations with China, Iran, Afghanistan and India would remain critical to the global balance of power.
    3. In the recent past, Russia economy has made significance resurgence mainly due to the windfall from oil revenues. With the current 7 to 8 per cent growth rate; Russia would emerge as a powerful economy. However, Russia remains a nation fraught with problems and uncertainty. Russia’s export based economy would necessitate policies for diversification process in other areas.
    4. Traditionally, former Soviet Union/Russia and India have had a substantive relationship which was cemented by Indo-Soviet Friendship Treaty of 1971. India continues to depend on Russian defence supplies and benefits from Russian cooperation in the field of hydrocarbon and nuclear energy. In the past, India and erstwhile Soviet Union had invested heavily in a strategic relationship. That continues to be an important goal in official pronouncements. Yet, in the dynamics of ongoing geopolitical development, it is not clear what course this relationship will take.
    5. In the recent years, there have been growing feelings both in India and Russia to move away from old nostalgia and instead seek a more realistic relationship based on current realities. A delusion expressed lately is that Russia and India have substantially moved away from each other, as can be seen from divergent foreign and defence policies pursued by both countries. Besides, the lack of a transport corridor and banking system has inhibited a meaningful commerce between the two countries. In fact, bilateral trade turnover is stagnated around $5 billion annually for past several years.
    6. Amid the fast depilating global market and slow down in economies, there are however growing opportunities for India and Russia to explore fresh convergences. Many potentials for cooperation remains unrealized as both India and Russia have been paying greater attention to the West rather than to each other. India will always remain a vast market for Russia’s energy, and raw materials. Russia has a strong scientific and technological base that can be taken advantage of by India. On the other hand, Russia remains a vast market for Indian goods. Diversification in relationship is, therefore, a major challenge, especially when linkages are yet to be established between engines of growth in India and Russia.
    7. Against this backdrop, the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) is holding the India–Russia Strategic Dialogue: Opportunities and Challenges on 13 -14 March 2009 in New Delhi.
    8. It would be our endeavor to make the bilateral dialogue more than a scholarly exercise. The dialogue would, through discussion of assigned papers, seek to address the most pressing and important aforementioned issues. A special session will be devoted for discussing the problems and prospects of the Indo-Russian defence cooperation. Six well-known experts and scholars from the top think tanks from Russia are attending the dialogue.