Indian Commercial Neutrality

Russian-Indian relations are built on post-Soviet inertia. Official Delhi, wishing to preserve its international "strategic autonomy", continues to develop relations with Moscow. The deepest area of cooperation remains in interaction with Russia along the arms supply line, which has been preserved since the times of the USSR. Although the share of joint defence and industrial projects and supplies from Russia decreased from almost 80% in the 1990’s to 38% nowadays, volumes of cooperation remain significant. The Indian government partially continues the line of "non-alignment" that comes from the desire to balance between major geopolitical centres for its own benefit. India also exists in a false paradigm of fighting against countries of modern colonialism, which does not include Russia.

India fears Chinese hegemony in the region and is looking for countermeasures that will not deepen tensions in Asia. In essence, it was the Indian and Chinese governments that defended Moscow from total international isolation. In addition to increasing imports of Russian energy carriers, New Delhi takes advantage of the moment to occupy economic niches in Russia itself that were vacated after the withdrawal of Western companies. As important for Indian regional policy remains restraining Pakistan and Afghanistan. According to Narendra Modi, Russia remains a natural ally of India on these issues.

New Delhi's game on the contradictions of major geopolitical players in a state of a sharp conflict only increases risks for India. India's simultaneous belonging to multivector international alliances such as BRICS and QUAD can cause to losing any strategic support for New Delhi due to the uncertainty of its international position. It is quite difficult to maintain balance while maintaining an alliance with both democratic and autocratic regimes at the same time. It can become even more dangerous, as they keep supporting an aggressor country that constantly blackmails the world community with nuclear weapons.


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