New Delhi and Moscow began the India-Russia Strategic Partnership in October, 2000

Russia and India are working for common approaches in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions, Russian envoy to India Nikolay Kudashev has said.

In a video message to mark 20 years of India-Russia Strategic Partnership, he explained “strategic partners means to proceed from the unity of destinies and to form common approaches and views on common issues directly connected to the existence of the two countries and its peoples”.

"These include jointly finding solutions to the problem, working out common approaches to the vision of regional development in Pacific and Indian Oceans, or in the Persian Gulf,” Kudashev said. He noted that both countries were jointly dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, countering new challenges and threats like terrorism, drug trafficking, and transnational organized crime.

The comments assume significance in view of the bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin likely to be held later this year, once the COVID-19 situation improves. They also need to be seen in the backdrop of India’s engagement with other countries to formulate an effective and coordinated strategy in the Indo-Pacific region to counter China’s influence.

New Delhi and Moscow signed the Declaration on the India-Russia Strategic Partnership during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India in October 2000, Ten years later, ties between the two countries were elevated to the status of a “special and privileged” strategic partnership.

Kudashev said special and privileged partnership can be described by unprecedented, unparalleled levels of confidence, and it means a situation when partner’s views, opinions, positions are by default embedded in Moscow’s or New Delhi’s approaches to key problems of the day or to key problems of developing bilateral relations.

He also added that the future of Eurasia and other regions of the world belongs to this partnership.