The Russian-Indian partnership has experienced an upward trend in the past years. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoy cordial relations, meet regularly, hold telephone conversations, and seek ways to boost further bilateral trade. Although the official presentation of mutual ties seems cloudless, fundamental shifts are happening behind the curtains.
The previous year was a breakthrough in bilateral relations for Moscow and New Delhi. Both nations experienced impressive 22 percent growth in trade and boosted cooperation in a number of spheres ranging from agriculture to energy to pharmaceuticals. Earlier, Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft, closed a $12.9 billion purchase of India’s second largest private oil refiner, Essar Oil, which marked one of the biggest foreign investment in India. New Delhi likewise was the major guest country of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in 2017, Russia’s top national event for international cooperation, and hosted the pavilion titled “Make in India” along with Modi’s participation in a plenary session next to Putin.
The two countries likewise seek stronger ties in the military sector. The Kremlin keeps its competitive edge and remains the largest supplier of weapons to the Indian market. Both nations signed an inter-governmental agreement for the purchase of the S-400 Triumf advanced Air Defense Systems (NATO: SA-21 Growler) estimated at $4.5 billion. Moscow and New Delhi also agreed on the import of Kamov Ka 226T light utility helicopters and collaboration in manufacturing of four Admiral Grigorovich–class guided-missile stealth frigates. The previous calendar year was likewise marked by a rare feat: the Indian defense minister and national security advisor each visited Russia twice