Interaction with H.E. Alexander Kadakin, Russia’s Ambassador to India
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Russia's Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin was invited to VIF on 14 Oct, 2014 for an interaction with a select group of strategic experts to discuss the ‘Indo-Russian Relations and the Way Forward’. The interaction assumes significance in the backdrop of the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India later this year for the annual summit. With Ambassador Kanwal Sibal, Dean, Centre for International Relations and Diplomacy, VIF, chairing the session, H.E. Alexander Kadakin presented a broad and objective assessment of the complexion of Indo-Russian ties, identifying in the process the positives and the shortfalls as well as the steps needed to reinvigorate the relationship. Welcoming Russia’s new surge for its Eurasian identity, Ambassador Sibal underlined the fact that the flurry of India’s recent diplomatic initiatives does not undermine the strength of Indo-Russian relations. Russia, in fact, provides the much needed balance in India’s approach to its foreign policy. H.E. Alaxander Kadakin, on his part, spoke of the robust defence partnership between the two countries, amplified by projects such as INS Vikramaditya, BrahMos missiles and the joint development of a fifth generation aircraft. Russia offers cutting edge military technologies to India, a testimony to the level of trust between the two countries. He further pointed out that Russia and India were the first to evolve strategic partnership, the coinage of the term expanded substantially internationally ever since with more and more countries using it. There is however a need to take the strategic partnership between India and Russia to the next higher level i.e. towards cooperative arrangement.

In so far as economic cooperation between Russia and India is concerned, the Ambassador felt that barring big ticket projects such as Kudankulam nuclear project, INS Vikramaditya and other defence related sales, normal bilateral trade, presently pegged at USD 11.4 billion, is anything but satisfactory. He lamented the fact that the Indian business fraternity was not aggressively pursuing investment opportunities in Russia which is now a more market-driven economy. While urging on the need to improve normal trade, H.E. Kadakin said there is laxity on both sides. Besides defence and economic cooperation, Ambassador Kadakin’s talk also covered a host of other issues, inter alia, Indo-Russian nuclear cooperation and the role of foreign funded NGOs, Ukrainian crisis and the sanctions against Moscow, the crisis in the Middle East and the ISIS, to mention a few. Admiral (Retd) KK Nayyar, Ambassador Satish Chandra, and Mr Shekhar Dutt, former Governor of Chhattisgarh were among those who interacted with the Russian Ambassador. The vote of thanks was proposed by Lt Gen (Retd) Ravi Sawhney, while a five-volume set ‘History of Ancient India’, edited by Prof. Dilip K. Chakrabarti and Prof Makkhan Lal, a VIF publication, was also presented to H.E. Alexander Kadakin to mark the occasion.

Event Date 
October 14, 2014
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