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Oldest friends: India and Russia

India needs to stand firm on its deep engagement with Russia in coming months
India-Russia summits have traditionally been short on time and ceremony and big on productivity(उत्पादिता. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 22-hour visit to Delhi last week was no exception(आपत्ति/अपवाद). On Friday, the two countries announced a number of agreements, including a $5.43 billion S-400 Triumf missile system deal, a space cooperation(सहयोग/संबंध) arrangement(व्यवस्था) to put an Indian in space, and an action plan for a new nuclear plant. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr. Putin also addressed a business summit, in an attempt(प्रयास) to diversify(विविधता/मुक़्तलिफ़ करना) ties and increasebilateral(द्विपक्षीय) trade(व्यापार), currently below $10 billion. Much of the fresh momentum (गति/चाल)in bilateral engagement will come from the energy sector. Though the two sides didn’t announce an agreement between ONGC Videsh and Gazprom as expected, several billions of dollars worth of investment and energy deals are in the pipeline. Significantly(गौरतलब है कि/महत्व के साथ), the agreements discussed during Mr. Putin’s visit have geopolitical implications(उलझाव/निहितार्थ). The signing of the S-400 air defence system deal, for instance, is of far greater consequence(परिणाम/महत्त्व) than its size. It denotes India’s desire to deepen defence cooperation with Russia; also that it is prepared to do this despite(विरोध/के बावजूद) U.S. warnings that the deal could attract sanctions. That this deal comes just a month after India signed the Communications(संचार) Compatibility(अनुकूलता/सुसंगतता) and Security Agreement (COMCASA) for better interoperability(अंतर/अंतःक्रियाशीलता) with the U.S. military is a sign that India will not be forced or even persuaded(राजी/आश्वस्त) into putting all its eggs in onestrategic(महत्वपूर्ण/रणनीतिक) basket.

New Delhi’s assertion of “strategic autonomy” and desire for multipolarity will be seriously tested in the coming months. For one, it chose to sign the S-400 deal, but resisted(विरोध/रोकना) concluding(निष्कर्ष निकालना/समापन) other major defence deals with Russia on helicopters, stealth frigates and assault rifles, which Moscow will no doubt push for. More defence deals with Russia will make it increasingly(वृद्धि से/बढ़ता हुआ) difficult for the U.S. to give India a waiver from sanctions under CAATSA, itslegislation(क़ानून/विधि निर्माण)aimed at curtailing (कटौती/संक्षिप्त करना)defence and energy dealings with Russia, Iran and North Korea. Washington has already reacted to the S-400 deal, making it clear that any waiver will not be on a “country” basis, but on a “transaction-by-transaction” basis. In any case, accepting a waiver will implicitly commit India to reducing(कमी/छंटनी/ its intake of Russian military hardware. Both on CAATSA and on the U.S.’s proposed sanctions on Iran that go into force on November 4, India will need to make some tough decisions. It is one thing to reinforce(शक्ति बढ़ाना/प्रबलित करना) long-standing and close friendships as Mr. Modi did during his annual summit with the Russian President this month, and with the Iranian President earlier this year, or with the U.S. President last year — the situation can be much more complex(जटिल/पेचीदा)when friends expect you to choose between them.

Important Vocabulary

Synonyms: omission, barring, debarment, exclusion, expulsion
Antonyms: acceptance, allowance, ratification, admittal, admittance

Synonyms: rapport, unity, affinity, agreeableness, agreement
Antonyms: disagreement, discord, dislike, hatred, incompatibility

Synonyms: abide, combat, confront, continue, curb
Antonyms: OK, accept, aid, allow, assist

Synonyms: complicated, convoluted, composite, compound, conglomerate
Antonyms: simple, single, uniform, unmixed, apparent

5.Reinforce(शक्ति बढ़ाना
Synonyms: add to, bolster, boost, build up, buttress
Antonyms: decrease, diminish, discourage, hinder, hurt

6.Diversify(विविधता/मुक़्तलिफ़ करना) 
Synonyms: expand, transform, alter, assort, change
Antonyms: continue, keep, remain, stay, conform

Synonyms: aftereffect, aftermath, effect, fallout, issue
Antonyms: cause, origin, source, beginning, commencement



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