According to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, India-Russia relations have remained “very, very steady,” and “we take great care” to ensure that they are healthy. In a conversation on Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations in this city, Jaishankar claimed that after the conflict in the Ukraine in February 2022, Russia’s relations with Europe and the West had been “so severely disrupted” that Moscow was now looking to Asia and other regions of the world.
“The India-Russia relationship has actually held very, very steady,” he said, adding that there has been the Soviet period and post-Soviet period.
“Part of it is that I think there is an understanding in both countries that as big powers in the Asian continent, there is a kind of structural basis for having to get along, wanting to get along. And so we take great care to make sure the relationship is working,” Jaishankar said hours after addressing the 78th UN General Assembly session.
Even though Russia is dispersed throughout both Europe and Asia, according to Jaishankar, it has traditionally viewed itself as a European power.
“My expectation would be” that because its relationship with Europe and with the West has been so severely disrupted since 2022,“ he said, apparently referring to the US-led sanctions on Moscow for invading Ukraine.
“Russia is actually turning to Asia and to other parts of the world, but primarily to Asia because that’s where a lot of economic activity is and it is also an Asian power even though it has not always seen itself primarily as that”, Jaishankar said.
“In fact, I believe Russia will make very determined efforts to forge substitute relationships, many of which will be in Asia. And this would be reflected in trade and economics, perhaps in other areas as well. “I know that China-Russia would have a particular profile and salience in this, but I would also say that our own relationship with Russia has been extremely stable since the mid-50s,” he continued. And it’s interesting to note that over the past 70 years in world politics, almost all of the relationships between the US and Russia, Russia and China, and Europe and Russia have experienced significant ups and downs. Although there have been both very good and very bad times in that relationship, the two countries’ ties have remained remarkably stable.