There are a lot of expectations when the Russian leader Vladimir Putin comes to India on Dec. 6 for the 21st Bilateral Summit, a visit that will be judged in both atmospherics and substance. The last summit in 2020 could not be held due to the Covid and Prime Minister Narender Modi last met President Putin two years ago in Brasilia. Going beyond the dates of meeting personally and virtually the simple fact remains that both New Delhi and Moscow have been in regular touch on issues of bilateral, regional, and global significance. And a personal meeting in New Delhi on Monday is seen as adding depth to the width of the partnership.
There is no doubt in the fact that bilateral relations have withstood the test of time starting with the heady days of the conflict with Pakistan over Bangladesh, American fleet sailing into troubled waters as a way to give a psychological boost to the then West Pakistan, not to forget the temptations of China to fish in a war zone to assist its longtime ally. Quietly the navy of the then Soviet Union started shadowing the USS Enterprise and its flotilla sending a firm message to both Beijing and Washington. In the context of Moscow’s commitment to a friendship, there has been no looking back, although some will say now that Russia’s newfound relationship with China and Pakistan has raised eyebrows in the hallways of power in New Delhi.