Russia has strongly backed India’s bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, calling it a “reputable contender” that could bring more balance to the world body.

Growing Bilateral Ties

In an interview with Russian state media RT, Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov highlighted the growing strategic partnership between the two countries spanning defence, energy and trade. He stated that Russia has consistently indicated its support for India’s candidacy, noting its successful leadership of the Security Council in 2021-22.

The envoy pointed out that India is one of Russia’s top four trading partners, with bilateral trade possibly crossing $60 billion in 2023. Russia is a major supplier of defence equipment to India and the two countries engage in joint military exercises and co-development of platforms. Energy cooperation has also emerged as a pillar of ties, with Russia assisting India in constructing its largest nuclear power plant in Kudankulam.

Over the past year, India has become a leading importer of Russian oil despite Western criticism. Alipov stated that the relationship continues to expand according to converging interests and is based on mutual trust and respect.

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US Attempts to Undermine Ties

However, Alipov warned that the United States is attempting to undermine Indo-Russian ties by threatening secondary sanctions. He accused US officials visiting India of openly stating their goal of detaching India from Russia. While some Indian partners are cautious, many find such an approach unacceptable, he added.

The envoy reiterated that unlike Western nations, Russia has never imposed political conditions or interfered in India’s domestic affairs. He stressed that Russia remains a sincere, reliable and time-tested friend of India.

Reforms Needed at UN

Ambassador Alipov called for urgent reforms at the UN, which he said is disproportionately dominated by the West. He argued that bringing the Security Council in line with modern realities requires accommodating the aspirations of credible candidates from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

While polarisation has stalled progress on Council expansion, Russia values broad consensus on the issue. Alipov opined that as a permanent member, India could help advance the interests of developing countries.

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India’s Position on Ties with Russia

India has maintained that its relationship with Russia is time-tested and independent of its ties with other countries. It has continued bilateral trade in key areas like defence and energy while calling for dialogue and diplomacy to end the Ukraine conflict.

With both nations facing growing geopolitical tensions, India and Russia share a desire to sustain cooperation across sectors. While walking a diplomatic tightrope, India seems intent on preserving its strategic autonomy.

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