Today the world has become a global village. At times we see that most countries around the globe share a camaraderie like never before. Gone are days of cold war when countries were divided between capitalist lead USA and communist government of Soviet Union. Though the situation may look defuse at times, still countries around the world are in a race to strengthen their defence capabilities. So, where does India stand in the world today when it comes to defence and how Russia played a vital role in strengthening the India’s defence needs and modernization.
Right from the time when Indian got its independence the world was divided into two block – USA and Soviet Union. Though Indian decided to remain neutral with Non-Alignment movement, still it was heavily tilted towards the Soviet Union for weapons supply, military technical cooperation and joint development of weapons. Russia has played a significant role in India’s national and security interest right from the Soviet era. During the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war the Indo-Russia political cooperation further boosted the defence engagement between the two countries. The time-tested friendship of Russia also came in the form of ‘Rupee-Rouble arrangement’ and license-production during the Soviet times.
The collapse of Soviet Union in the early 90’s had a domino effect on all its partners including India. Until then Indian has a soviet-centric defence procurement policy and was largely dependent on Russia for all its military upgradation. But, in 1993 multitude changes were made during the renewal of 1971 Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. Still, Over the years, India with then help of Russia had procured and jointly developed new defence capabilities. Though changing geo-politics, global affairs and development in the neighborhood had forced Indian to look for alternate defence market, still Russia remains an important strategic partner for defence in the future.