The Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) and the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) jointly organized their annual dialogue on 2 February 2024 in Moscow.
The inaugural remarks were delivered by H.E. Igor Ivanov-President, RIAC and former Foreign Minister of Russia; H.E. Pavan Kapoor, Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation; H.E. Denis Alipov, Ambassador of Russian Federation to India; Amb. Vijay Thakur Singh-DG, ICWA and Dr. Ivan Timofeev, DG, RIAC.
The Dialogue, held in three sessions, focused on new contours of cooperation between India and Russia in the backdrop of the ongoing global geopolitical flux where the world order is changing. Speakers noted that, despite the geopolitical turbulence, India and Russia have continued to strengthen their special and privileged strategic partnership on the basis of mutual trust and respect for each other’s position.
The first session was on "Russian and Indian Perspectives on the Changing World Order." It was chaired by Dr. Andrey Kortunov, Academic Director, RIAC. Speakers in the session included Dr. Victoria Panova, Vice Rector of the Higher School of Economics (HSE) University and RIAC member; Dr. Himani Pant, Research Fellow, ICWA; Dr. Maxim Kharkevich, Associate Professor of the Department of Global Political Processes, MGIMO University; Prof. Gulshan Sachdeva, Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University; and Dr. Alexey Kupriyanov, Head of Center of Indian Ocean Region at IMEMO Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). Indian and Russian speakers presented their respective observations on the ongoing global geopolitical developments. Speakers exchanged views on the need for reforms in the existing multilateral institutions, such as the UN. They also exchanged views on developments in G20, SCO, BRICS, among others.
The second session of the Dialogue was on "Russian-Indian Economic and Strategic partnership." It was moderated by Dr. Alexey Kupriyanov. Speakers in the session were Dr. Andrey Klepach, Chief Economist, VEB.RF; Prof. Suba Chandran, Dean, School of Conflict and Security Studies, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS); Dr. Oleg Shutenko, Deputy Head, Committee on International Cooperation, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs; Dr. Ivan Danilin, Head, Department of Science and Innovations, IMEMO RAS and Prof. Gulshan Sachdeva. Speakers highlighted the challenges and opportunities while increasing and diversifying bilateral trade in the new global environment, and exchanged views on enhancing cooperation in the domain of energy, including nuclear; financial and banking ties. Speakers also emphasized upon the crucial role of private sector to enhance trade and investment ties further. They also highlighted that there was a need to enhance people to people ties, particularly youth connects and between academic as well as research community.
The third session on the theme of “Increasing connectivity in Eurasia: local projects on a Global Scale," was moderated by Dr. Alexey Zakharov, Research Fellow at the International Laboratory of World Order Studies and New Regionalism at the HSE University. Speakers in this session included Dr. Athar Zafar, Senior Research Fellow at ICWA; Dr. Natalia Zadonskaya, Head, Sector of International Communication and Logistics of International Transport Corridors of the ANO, Directorate of International Transport Corridors; and Prof. Suba Chandran- Dean, NIAS. Speakers highlighted the promising prospects for improving regional connectivity in Eurasia. The scope for cooperation in the Arctic by promoting economic and infrastructural collaboration in polar shipping, strengthening Chennai-Vladivostok Maritime corridor, International North South Corridor, transport investments in Chabahar, etc. were highlighted. Both sides underscored the need for increased connectivity and enhancing collaboration in Central Asia.
The closing remarks were made by Amb. Vijay Thakur Singh, DG, ICWA and Dr. Ivan Timofeev, DG, RIAC. Post the Dialogue, Amb. Singh and Dr. Timofeev signed the renewed ICWA-RIAC Memorandum of Understanding.