6th Eastern Economic Forum


Recently, the Prime Minister of India (PM) addressed the plenary session of the 6th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) via video-conferencing.

  • The PM highlighted the importance of India-Russia relations and potential areas of cooperation in line with the ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’.

What are the highlights of the Prime Minister’s Address ?

  • Applauded Russia’s goal for the development of the Russian Far East area, and reaffirmed India’s commitment to becoming a trusted partner of Russia in this respect (as part of its “Act East Policy”).
  • The importance of the health and pharmaceutical sectors as major areas of cooperation that have evolved during the pandemic was highlighted.
  • Other potential sectors of economic cooperation mentioned include diamonds, coking coal, steel, lumber, and so on.

What is the Eastern Economic Forum

  • In the year 2015, the President of the Russian Federation issued a decree establishing the EEF.
  • Every year, it takes place in the Russian city of Vladivostok.
  • It acts as a forum for debate of global economic concerns, regional integration, and the development of new industrial and technology sectors, as well as global difficulties confronting Russia and other countries.
  • The Forum’s business programme includes a variety of business dialogues with leading Asia-Pacific partner countries, as well as with ASEAN, a vital integration organisation of Southeast Asia’s dynamically developing states.
  • It has grown into an international forum for addressing the strategy for strengthening political, economic, and cultural links between Russia and the Asia-Pacific region over the years.

What is the Importance of Relations Between India and Russia ?

  • China’s Balance of Power: The Chinese aggressiveness in eastern Ladakh’s border areas pushed India-China ties to a breaking point, but it also revealed that Russia can help defuse tensions with China.
  • Following violent confrontations in the Galwan Valley in the disputed territory of Ladakh, Russia convened a trilateral conference of Russia’s, India’s, and China’s foreign ministries.
  • Apart from established fields of collaboration including weaponry, hydrocarbons, nuclear energy (Kudankulam), space (Gaganyaan), and diamonds, new areas of economic engagement are projected to emerge, such as mining, agro-industrial, and high technology, such as robotics, nanotech, and biotech.
  • India’s presence in the Russian Far East and the Arctic is expected to grow. Projects involving connectivity may also benefit.
  • Reviving the Eurasian Economic Union: Russia wants to use India’s soft power to win credibility in the Eurasian Economic Union’s success and reclaim its primacy from the Cold War era.
  • Terrorism: India and Russia are striving to reduce the gap on Afghanistan and are pressing for the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism to be finalized as soon as possible.
  • Support in Multilateral Forums: Russia also backs India’s bid for permanent membership in a reconstituted United Nations Security Council as well as the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
  • Diplomacy: Russia has been a long-time friend of India; it has not only provided India with armaments to maintain a formidable military profile, but it has also offered India with crucial diplomatic assistance on a variety of regional issues.
  • Defense Cooperation: Although India has made a conscious effort to diversify its new defense purchases, the majority of its defense equipment (60 to 70 percent) still comes from Russia.
  • Examples include the BrahMos Missile System and the licensed production of SU-30 aircraft and T-90 tanks in India.
  • Joint Tri-Services (Army, Navy, and Air Force) Exercises are known as Indra Exercises.

Source: PIB

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