New Delhi: On the eve of the much-awaited Summit meet between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, Information Department of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in India along with Russian News Agency “Rossia Segodnya” organized a panel discussion via video conferencing between New Delhi and Moscow on the subject of “Current State of Affairs of India-Russia Strategic Partnership” on Wednesday.
Speakers from India included Ambassador Asoke Mukerji, Distinguished Fellow, Vivekananda International Foundation, Former Indian Ambassador & Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. Dr Anirban Ganguly, Director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, Member of the Policy Research Department, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Brigadier (Retd.) Rahul K. Bhonsle, Director of Sasia Security-Risks.com. Olga Dycheva, Head of the Information Department of the Russian Embassy moderated the discussion.
Speaker from Russia included Prof. Andrey Volodin, Center for Eurasian Studies, of the Institute for Topical International Problems of the Russian Foreign Ministry Diplomatic Academy, Dr. Boris Volkhonsky, Professor of the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University and Mr. Pavel Dorokhin, Head of the Russia-India inter-parliamentary group in the State Duma.
Taking part in the discussion, speakers were of the view that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s current visit has special significance in the changing Geopolitical scenario. Experts through the video conference discussion evaluated the current status of Indian-Russian partnership.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Asoke Mukerji underlined that the Indo-Russian relation is special as “no other country in the world have had summit meet continuously for 19 years like India and Russia. The working together of both the countries is vital to uphold the spirit and stability of the multilateral global order.”
Stressing upon the need for multilateralism in the present times, Brigadier (Retd) Rahul K Bhonsle said that in an “increasingly protectionist global environment” the summit is key to stability.
“Geopolitical realities are here to see, in the present environment, Indo-Russian collaboration can act as a beacon of multilateral collaboration. India and Russia are no more in a state of a buyer and seller relation, we are partners and the collaboration in the military space must be extended to financial and economic realms as well,” Bhonsle said.
Dr Anirban Ganguly remembered the contribution of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who began the Summit meeting in 2000 and it is still being continued by both the countries.
“Prime Minister’s stress in collaborating in Sanskriti (Culture) to Suraksha (Security) is important and must be the guiding spirit of our future,” he said.
Dr Boris Volkhonsky, taking part from Moscow stressed for the need for increased connectivity between two countries for expanding economic and cultural linkages. Prof. Alexei Kupriyanov said the crucial North-South corridor project must be a priority area for both the countries to pursue. Prof Andrey Volodin said alternative linkages from central Asian countries and increased air connectivity could be another way to increase collaboration. Volodin added that multilateral world order is very chaotic and the political interaction between India and Russia will have to be backed by intellectual and academic contacts to make it more fruitful.
Prof Alexei Kupriyanov also said that the schemes like Skill India are an opportunity for Russian expertise to be made available for Indians.