What do you mean by an ally?

  • An all-weather friend who can be relied on for support through thick and thin.

Prospective Allies of India :-

  • India has numerous alliances with nations all across the globe. But to keep it simple, only alliances which have far-reaching consequences in the international arena should be taken into consideration.
  • Keeping that in mind, 2 prospective allies emerge:- 1. USA  2. Russia.

Indo-Russia relations :-

  • India and Russia(erstwhile USSR) have had cordial and deep relations since India’s independence.
  • The Indo-Russia relations are built on 5 key pillars:  politics, defence, civil nuclear energy, anti-terrorism co-operation, and space.
  • Historically, Russia(or USSR) has helped India on numerous key occasions. In 1965, the Soviet Union served successfully as a peace broker between India and Pakistan after the Indian-Pakistan border war. Soviet support to India prevented China from intervening in the East Pakistan liberation war etc.
  • India has robust defence co-operation with Russia. 68% of Indian military hardware comes from Russia. Brahmos, SU-30MKI, S-400 Triumf procurement, Akula II nuclear submarine, etc are some examples of the defense co-operation between the 2 countries.
  • Russia has helped India in developing its space programme to its current. India’s first satellite(Aryabhatta) was launched by Russia. And many such collaborations have been initiated and realized.
  • Russia has also supported India on several occasions on its stand against terrorism. It has publicly stated that it supports India receiving a permanent seat in UNSC.
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Indo-US relations :-

  • India and US relations have been inconsistent since independence with the USA aligning itself with Pakistan at times.
  • The USA had supported Pakistan in 1971 war. Also, the USA has had strong defence ties with Pakistan over the years.
  • It was only in the Bush and Obama administration that Indo-US ties have improved tremendously.
  • Addition of India in MTCR, Wassenaar arrangement, supporting India’s bid for a seat at NSG, signing of defence agreements, to name a few, have been key milestones in the improvement of Indo-US relations.
  • The USA also shares India’s stand on terrorism. The most recent example being: the USA(and others) moving a resolution in The UN to declare Masood Azhar as a terrorist.

Conclusion :-

In light of the above information, it can be logically said that Russia has remained a true ally of India. Indo-USA relations have definitely improved, but it is yet too early to call it a time-tested relationship. Russia, on the other hand, has been an all-weather ally of India despite knowing its consequence on Sino-Russia relations.

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