Multipolar defense of Eurasia

India looks like one of the possible towers in this still unfinished "defense perimeter". Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at the BRICS-Eurasia joint meeting in Ufa in July 2015, said that Eurasia is filled with great energy and dynamism, and can regain the role of the leading economic corridor and trade route of the world.


India looks like one of the possible towers in this still unfinished "defense perimeter". Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at the BRICS-Eurasia joint meeting in Ufa in July 2015, said that Eurasia is filled with great energy and dynamism, and can regain the role of the leading economic corridor and trade route of the world.

Return - does it mean that someone took this role, appropriated? To the educated citizens of India, this "someone" is well known. It is possible that during the summit in Moscow, Modi discussed this topic with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

For the Indian leader, this was the first foreign visit to Russia since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine. It was also the first overseas trip since the beginning of his third term as prime minister. The leaders met for the first time since 2022 after talks on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Uzbekistan.

The visit was unusual in every way. First, everything ended on a solemn note. President Putin noted the contribution of Prime Minister Modi to strengthening bilateral relations and developing multifaceted Russian-Indian cooperation, presented the guest with the highest state award - the Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called.

Secondly, the visit was more of a personal meeting and confidential negotiations.

Their main results were not made public, except that Modi assured Putin that he gladly accepted his invitation to attend the BRICS summit in October in Kazan.

Putin and Modi discussed the international situation, cooperation in the BRICS, SCO and G20. They confirmed that the SCO format is one of the highest priorities for Moscow and New Delhi. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the visit made it possible to outline specific tasks for promoting a particularly privileged strategic Russian-Indian partnership.

During the visit, the parties signed a dozen bilateral documents. Putin and Modi instructed to prepare a program for the development of strategic directions of Russian-Indian economic cooperation until 2030.

Finally, the talks between Putin and Modi took place against the backdrop of US President Joe Biden opening the NATO anniversary summit in Washington, demonstrating the "isolation" of Russia and the unity of the West.

Geopolitics with "Indian specificity"

Modi said India chooses a policy of balance, is "on the side of the world". Some Russian observers believe that New Delhi has already "made an Anglo-Saxon choice". Others tend to repeat established Western attitudes about insoluble contradictions and intense competition between India and China. But New Delhi's actual politics are rich in shades and semitones to categorically assert or deny something. The meeting in Moscow showed this once again.

In the nine years since Modi spoke in Ufa, a lot has changed. First of all, our ideas about Eurasia and its prospects. The crisis in relations between the NATO bloc and Russia in Ukraine showed that this Eurasian mega-continent is urgently "needed" not only by regional powers, but also by the West, led by the United States.

In order to maintain and strengthen their positions there, they are ready to take the risks of a big war with Russia, using Ukraine as a ram and a "forward-based" bridgehead. Washington, following the recipes of its mentors and ancestors from the British Isles, showed that it intends to control Eurasia with the help of military-political levers and a forceful presence. The West still hopes to drag India into this system of confrontation.

An example is the US-promoted Indo-Pacific security concept, adopted to pressure China, as well as military-political blocs and bases. India, being at the center of this sharply increased activity, balances its interests and actions. Modi, for example, met with Ukrainian President Zelensky on the sidelines of the Seven meeting in June.

India diligently avoids the fate of being on the list of "US opponents", but not without problems for itself. Washington, for example, requires New Delhi to broadcast "American concerns" about how to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, which should be emphasized in dialogue with Moscow. At the same time, it became clear long ago that Washington and its NATO satellites themselves destroyed the Euro-Atlantic security system that was being formed in the OSCE space. The system does not work and has completely discredited itself.

Security and trade routes

Nine years after Modi's speech in Ufa, it also became clear that Western patterns of globalization were not suitable for Eurasia. For the reason that they give rise to crises that impede the development and formation of cross-border trade corridors. Moreover, the United States followed the path of destruction of the already built and tested. An example was the undermining of northern flows, protectionism and trade tensions with China, up to sanctions, similar friction between Beijing and Brussels.

Russian proposals for a new security architecture for Eurasia are directed against destabilizing Anglo-Saxon influence. It is about squeezing "external players" beyond the political limits of all regions that make up Eurasia, forcing the United States to "curtail its military presence on the continent".

The overarching challenge is to create a conflict-free and development-friendly space. This approach today is shared by Russia and China. In many ways, it seems, India may agree with this. There are no foreign military bases on its territory either, New Delhi also advocates indivisible security. It is necessary to agree on long-term foundations of peaceful coexistence and cooperation within Eurasia, to find ways to counteract the pressure and influence of the West.

According to Putin, the new system should be open to all Eurasian countries that wish to take part in it, including NATO and Western European, if they abandon the confrontational course. In the future, this will mean "curtailing the military presence of external powers in Eurasia", said an official representative of the Russian diplomatic service.

Ties remain resilient

The parties stressed that Russian-Indian ties remain stable in the current difficult and uncertain geopolitical situation. The parties are making efforts to create a modern, balanced, mutually beneficial, sustainable and long-term partnership.

It was noted that regular coordination and close interaction between foreign ministries contributes to a deeper understanding of each other's interests. The parties noted the benefits of interaction between parliaments. Much attention is also paid to the dialogue at the level of the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation and the adviser to the Prime Minister of India on national security, the security councils themselves.

Modi and Putin discussed long-term contracts, both for oil and liquefied natural gas. India has become the leading market for Russian oil exports. In 2023, supplies doubled compared to 2022 and amounted to about 90 million tons. This closes about 40% of India's total oil demand. For Russia, India has become a key partner in this area.

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that in 2023 the volume of oil supplies to India doubled exactly. "In 2022 it was 45 million tons, in 2021 - only 5 million tons. Compared to 2021, exports have grown 20 times, "he stressed, adding that the parties are considering the possibility of concluding a long-term agreement in this area.

Rosatom is discussing with India the construction of six more high-power units at the new site, according to the materials of the state corporation. The general director of Rosatom said in January 2024 that the launch of the third power unit of the Kudankulam NPP will take place this year. The parties are also considering the construction of a low-power nuclear power plant in India. In April 2024, India received information about Rosatom's decisions in the field of floating nuclear power plants.

Lavrov said that India and Russia make up to 60% of bilateral trade payments in national currencies, and Sberbank reported facilitating payments in recent months. The case is moving toward a bilateral agreement to further ease payments. The BRICS group will also discuss alternative payment systems.

Russia and India are stepping up efforts to create the North-South International Transport Corridor (INSTC), which will connect Russia with the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. The prospects of the Chennai-Vladivostok Eastern Sea Corridor and the Northern Sea Route are being discussed.

In order to achieve balanced and sustainable bilateral trade in the long term, the leaders emphasized the need to increase Indian exports to Russia, including by strengthening industrial cooperation, establishing new technological and investment partnerships, especially in advanced areas, as well as finding new directions and forms of cooperation. To further accelerate and maintain the growth rate of bilateral trade, the leaders agreed to bring trade to $100 billion by 2030.

In view of India's desire for self-sufficiency, the partnership in the field of military-technical cooperation is reorienting towards joint research and development, joint development and production of advanced defense technologies and systems. The parties confirmed their intention to increase the number of joint activities for military cooperation and expand military delegation exchange. I would like to hope that India will become one of the main "towers" in the still unfinished "defense perimeter" of Eurasia.