70 years of India-Russia relations: A historic milestone - Modern Diplomacy
17 hours ago Russian propagandists targeted African Americans to influence US election Ukraine-Russia tensions reach Greece's holy Mount Athos. Russia has been a strong and time-tested partner of India. According to Russian Federal Customs Service data, bilateral trade during in Russia - Post-Soviet Russia: The U.S.S.R. legally ceased to exist on The new state, called the Russian Federation, set off on the road to democracy and a market Moscow strengthened its political and military relations with China and India, Documentary evidence reflecting thinking at the highest levels during and.
Therefore, in many areas of Russia a barter economy emerged as both factories and workers tried to accommodate themselves to the economic crisis. Moreover, debts between factories were enormous; though they were diligently recorded, there was little hope of eventual collection.
Why Russia matters so much to India
Thus, it was not uncommon for workers to go months without being paid and for workers to get paid in, for example, rubber gloves or crockery, either because they made such things themselves or because their factory had received payment for debt in kind. In the government, through loans secured from the International Monetary Fund IMF and through income from the sale of oil and natural gassucceeded in stabilizing the national currency by establishing a ruble corridor.
This corridor fixed the exchange rate of the ruble that the Russian Central Bank would defend. Consequently, the rate of inflation dropped, and some macroeconomic stabilization ensued. However, the government continued to borrow large sums of money on domestic and foreign markets while avoiding real structural reforms of the economy. By failing to establish an effective tax code and collection mechanisms, clear property rightsand a coherent bankruptcy law and by continued support of failing industries, the government found it increasingly expensive to maintain an artificially set ruble exchange rate.
As a result, the ruble collapsed inand the government was forced to withhold payments on its debt amid a growing number of bankruptcies.
The ruble eventually stabilized and inflation diminished, but the living standards of most Russians improved little, though a small proportion of the population became very wealthy.
Moreover, most economic gains occurred in MoscowSt. Petersburgand a handful of other major urban areas, while vast tracts of Russia faced economic depression.
Another element of economic reform was the privatization of Russian industries. Reformists in the Yeltsin government sought to speed privatization, hoping that the threat of a return to communism would be more remote once a Russian capitalist class had developed. The reformists, like many Western economists, believed that only by privatizing factories and enterprises and letting them fight for survival would the economy have any hope of recovering.
Initially, the government implemented a voucher system according to which every citizen could in theory become a stakeholder in Russian industry and its privatization. Russians could invest their voucher the sum of 10, rublessell it, or use it to bid for additional shares in specific enterprises. However, the average Russian did not benefit from this rather complicated scheme.
By the end ofsome one-third of enterprises in the services and trade fields had been privatized. The second wave of privatization occurred in — However, to the average Russian, the process seemed to benefit solely the friends of those in power, who received large chunks of Russian industry for little. Many of these oligarchs bought factories for almost nothing, stripped them, sold what they could, and then closed them, creating huge job losses.
By the time Yeltsin left office inmost of the Russian economy had been privatized. To many Russians, it seemed that bandit capitalism had emerged. The majority of the population had seen their living standards drop, their social services collapse, and a great rise in crime and corruption.
Political and social changes Having played a key role in defeating the attempted coup against Gorbachev inYeltsin saw his popularity surge. A skillful politician, he was first elected president of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic in before the collapse of the U. R, and he was reelected in Although he had come to represent for many the face of political and economic reform, his first priority was the preservation of his own power and authority.
70 years of India-Russia relations: A historic milestone
In dealing with those around him in both the government and the bureaucracyYeltsin effectively utilized a divide-and-rule strategy that led to the emergence of various factions that battled each other. Indeed, in some cases bureaucrats spent more time in conflict with each other than they did governing the country. Yeltsin also had the tendency to frequently remove ministers and prime ministers, which led to abrupt changes in policy.
Throughout his presidency Yeltsin refused to establish his own political party or to align himself openly with any party or group of parties. Instead, he believed that the president should remain above party politics, though he was at the heart of the political process, playing the role of power broker—a position he coveted—until his resignation in When the Soviet Union collapsed, the Russian Federation continued to be governed according to its Soviet-era constitution.
The office of president had been added to the political structure of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic in However, the constitution did not specify which branch, legislative or executive, held supreme power. Political differences over various issues e. Personality clashes between Yeltsin and the parliamentary leadership led to a break between the legislative and executive branches. High inflation and continued economic crisis placed great pressure on Yeltsin.
The leader of the parliament, Ruslan Khasbulatov, and Yeltsin both sought support from regional elites in their political battles with each other by promising subsidies and greater local control. The political battle between Yeltsin and Khasbulatov climaxed in March when Yeltsin was stripped of the decree-making powers that he had been granted after the August attempted coup. Yeltsin was not prepared to accept total defeat. He stated that during this period any acts of parliament that contradicted presidential decrees would be null and void.
Nonetheless, it was agreed that a referendum would be held on April In addition, the Congress passed a provision that, for a question to be approved, it needed the backing of at least half of all eligible voters and not just half of the actual ballots cast ; however, the Constitutional Court ruled that only the latter two questions needed at least 50 percent and that the first two questions were nonbinding. Nearly three-fifths of voters expressed confidence in him personally, and more than half supported his economic and social policies.
Half of voters favoured early presidential elections, but two-thirds supported early parliamentary elections; however, with only 43 percent of eligible voters backing early parliamentary elections, Yeltsin was forced to continue his uneasy relationship with the Congress.
In the summer of Yeltsin established a Constitutional Convention to draw up a new post-Soviet constitution. Two units are already operational and the next four are in different stages of implementation. India attaches very high importance to local manufacturing in India of equipment and components for upcoming and future Russian-designed nuclear power projects.
India and Russia have several ongoing cooperation activities in the areas of space, science and technology, education and research. The Indian Department of Science and Technology and Russian Foundation forBasic Research have celebrated ten years of fruitful scientific joint projects. We have set up a Russia-India Network of Universities, and cooperation is underway in different aspects of space technology.
The most recent area of cooperation which is emerging is the Arctic which has a lot of multi-disciplinary potential. India and Russia have strong cultural ties, which are an important contribution to the strong and robust relations between the countries. Historical linkages have contributed to creating goodwill between the nations. Russian scholars like Gerasim Lebedev and Nicholas Roerich have travelled to India and studied Indian culture and philosophy. The grand epic of India, Mahabharata, has been translated into Russian.
Similarly, Russian literature and thinkers like Leo Tolstoy, Alexander Pushkin and others have had a profound influence and contribution to Indian literature and thought. Several generations of Russians have grown up watching Indian films.
Yoga in Russia has been growing and becoming increasingly popular since the s, particularly in majors cities and urban centres. Russian Institutions, including leading universities and schools, regularly teach Hindi to Russian students.
Chairs on Ayurveda and Contemporary Indian studies have also been set up in different Russian Universities. The number of Indian tourists to Russia and Russian tourists to India has shown significant increase in the last two years. The two countries have agreed to renew their Cultural Exchange Programme for the period Regional and International Cooperation: In the international arena both countries have similar positions and coordinate their actions.
The unique political proximity between the nations is reflected in congruence in global priorities. Both the countries share similar views on fighting terrorism without double standards, a more representative multi-polar world order based on international law with UN playing a central role, and resolving threats to international peace and security.
On Syria and Afghanistan, both countries have called for resolute action to bring about a lasting and peaceful solution, and defeating the forces of terrorism. We cooperate on other global challenges such as cyber security, preventing weaponisation of outer space and prevention of weapons of mass destruction. India and Russia have identified several new areas of cooperation. Indo-Russian Centre for Biotechnology Allahabad: It has been established at New Delhi.
This Centre was established on 1st October at Moscow. Genotype-phenotype studies on Prakriti and comparison of Indian and Russian population are being presently pursued. It has been established at Thiruvananthapuram in January Biomedical equipment are being identified for further joint development. The two sides annually review the priority areas.
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Of these 88 projects have competed successfully and 85 of the completed projects have resulted in joint publications, giving an average of 8 papers per project. At least in 91 publications Indian scientists were the first author. On the initiative of our two governments, an Indo-Russian Science and Technology Centre IRSTCwith its units both in Moscow and in Delhi, has been set up to promote two-way technology transfer between Russia and India and commercialize innovative technologies developed jointly or independently by Indian and Russian scientists.