“1971 Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation” reveals the anatomy of Indo-Russian relations


In India, the mood was something like mourning, a dear friend had passed away…. India feels orphaned – ideologically, strategically, economically, ”American writers Susanne and Lloyd Rudolph wrote in November 1991 in Christian Science Monitor magazine about India’s response to the disintegration of the Union. Soviet.

In international relations, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, but only permanent interests, say the apostles of pragmatism. But this theory would not explain India’s friendship with the Soviet Union. The new book by former bureaucrat Achala Moulik, 1971 Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation, offers nuances of this fascinating relationship.

Although the historic treaty of August 9, 1971 – which saw the departure of the Non-Aligned Movement from India – is the central focus of the book, Moulik goes beyond to offer a broader picture and history of the bond. shared between India and Russia. The author does not hesitate to present his admiration for the Soviet Union in the book.

1955 was a crucial year for the Indo-Soviet bond. That year, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Russia and senior Soviet leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Nikolai A. Bulganin visited India. Moulik observes that these state visits have produced new foreign policies in both countries. India was allowed to retain its non-aligned status while continuing to be a close friend of the Soviet Union. According to Moulik, this was made possible because the Soviets demanded nothing in return except friendship. Finally, in 1971, an impending war with Pakistan forced India to sign a treaty with the USSR, India’s first political treaty with another country. According to Moulik, the treaty was the result of Pakistan’s “madness and intransigence”.

The end of the Soviet era poses problems of Indo-Russian cooperation in several sectors, in particular that of defense. Boris Yeltsin, the first president of the Russian Federation, wanted to water down the 1971 treaty. And in 1993, India and Russia signed an amended version of the treaty, without security clauses in the event of American aggression. or the Chinese.

But within five years, the two countries would rekindle the strength of their historic treaty. And, over the next two decades, cooperation between India and Russia will expand into different sectors. Moulik recalls that the sale of arms is the “central pillar” of this relationship. However, since 2014, India has turned to the United States and Israel for the purchase of weapons. This prompted Russia to seek new friends as well. Despite this, the author calls India a trusted friend of Russia. She notes that Indo-Russian friendship is based on a bond of friendship and mutual respect, which “survives the purchase and sale of arms and transitional partnerships for temporary benefits”.

Moulik’s literary flair is commendable because she makes a very serious subject easy and pleasant to read. And, she fully succeeds in conveying to the reader her optimism about the future of Indo-Russian ties.


By Achala Moulik

Publisher: AuthorsUpFront

Price Rs495; Pages 246


Comments are closed.