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Russia adopts new foreign policy amid war, cites India, China as main allies

Russia will focus on strengthening its strategic partnership and trade ties with India and ensure resistance to ‘destructive actions’ of unfriendly states. India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and maintains that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via a video link in Moscow, Russia, March 31, 2023. Sputnik/Alexei Babushkin/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. (via REUTERS)Premium
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via a video link in Moscow, Russia, March 31, 2023. Sputnik/Alexei Babushkin/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. (via REUTERS)

India had found itself walking a diplomatic tightrope amid the Ukraine-Russia war, determinedly maintaining ties with both Kyiv and its western allies as well as Moscow. The two countries had maintained close strategic, military, economic interaction, celebrating 75 years of diplomatic ties recently. Now, a new foreign policy strategy adopted by President Vladimir Putin on Friday has identified China and India as its main allies on the world stage.

The announcement also came mere days after Chinese premier Xi Jinping visited Moscow to further cement the "no limits" partnership announced last year. And while India's ties with Beijing remain strained, Russian officials have rubbished assertions that the visit could ‘harm’ Moscow's relationship with India.

"Russia will continue to build up a particularly privileged strategic partnership with the Republic of India with a view to enhance and expand cooperation in all areas on a mutually beneficial basis and place 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," the statement said.

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Russia plans to build a ‘particularly privileged strategic partnership’ with India spanning all possible areas. The country is also prioritising its capacity and role within internationals groupings such as BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the RIC (Russia, India, China).

Russia has been the largest supplier of weapons to India, accounting for nearly 50% of the latter's arms imports from 2016-2020. Even as the Ukraine war rages on, both China and India have ramped up oil imports from the sanctions-hit nation. 

“Today, I signed a decree approving the updated concept of the foreign policy of the Russian Federation," said Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday. Top officials also noted that the document directly calls the US the main instigator of anti-Russian politics in the world.

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The updated foreign policy document names the United States as the main threat to international stability and driver of an "anti-Russian line". At the same time, it insists that Moscow seeks "peaceful coexistence" and a "balance of interests" with Washington and calls for Russia to maintain "strategic stability" with the United States.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 01 Apr 2023, 06:06 AM IST
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