Speech by Mr Hriday Sarma, founder — coordinator of Caucasus-Asia Center (New Delhi)

Russia and India have shared a fraternal relationship continuing from the time of the former Soviet days. This relationship met with certain glitches in the initial years after Soviet collapse; however, in recent years the bilateral relationship at the government-to-government level has got as significantly strong and pragmatic. This is a positive development for both countries as they are now attempting to redefine a multipolar order, best suited for expanding their national interests in their respective vicinity and at the international stage.

Here is a pressing need for both countries to cooperate not just at a bilateral level on wide ranging matters, but also join hands to work towards securing interests in regions and sectors of common interests. Examples of that could be the Arctic, South Caucasus and Central Asia, regions where Russia has special interests, and yet India would want to have its economic imprints vis-à-vis the US, EU and even China for that matter.  Global climate protection and renewable energy could be new sectors for collaboration between the two countries, marking a deviation of relying on cooperating in conventional sectors (like defence and oil and gas).

The purpose of doing the event is to encourage an intellectual and entrepreneurial community from both sides to explore on new ideas for building cooperation. It would engage participants in a process to work on redefining the framework of existing bilateral cooperation in tune with prevailing imperatives. The event would not be a standalone event, rather it would be the beginning of Track II arrangement for striking cooperation at all levels between the two countries. The arrangement, with time, will encompass a network of credible organizations and prominent individuals from both countries willing to contribute for championing the cause of Russia-India relationship in the 21st century.

The Caucasus-Asia Center has taken lead in conceptualizing and executing this aforesaid idea. The centre is a non-partisan, non-profit organization working towards building business partnerships in South Asia and South Caucasus, two land adjoining regions within Asia, and bringing in investments from around the world to countries in both regions.

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