Interpreting India
Interpreting India
Apr 14, 2022
The Russia-India-China Dynamic with P.S. Raghavan and Tanvi Madan
Play • 59 min

In this episode, Tanvi Madan and P.S. Raghavan join Deep Pal to discuss the evolving dynamic between Russia, India, and China, against the background of the war in Ukraine. 

The concept of a tripartite alliance between Russia, China, and India was first proposed by then-Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov in 1998, and Moscow has been working to promote it ever since. After a gap of 12 years, Russia organized the RIC summit on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina in November 2018. It was followed by India holding a RIC summit on the sidelines of the Osaka G20 summit in 2019. While no summit has been possible since 2019 due to the COVID crisis, it is the turn for China to organize the next summit--which, it is believed to hold this year. 

How do the current developments affect the relationship between these three countries? Specifically, what effect might the war have on India’s close relations with Russia, which has moved closer to China? How might India’s principle of strategic autonomy in foreign policy be affected while navigating through an increasingly complicated geopolitical order? And what do the visits of Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to India in March 2022 in rapid succession tell us? 

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Episode Contributors

Tanvi Madan is a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy in the Foreign Policy program. She is also the director of the India Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Her work explores India’s role in the world and its foreign policy, focusing in particular on India's relations with China and the United States. She is the author of the book “Fateful Triangle: How China Shaped US-India Relations during the Cold War” (Brookings Institution Press, 2020).

P.S. Raghavan was, from 2016 to 2020, chairman of the National Security Advisory Board, which advises India’s National Security Council on strategic and security issues. He engaged on these issues with departments and think tanks in India and outside. From 1979 to 2016, he held diplomatic positions in USSR, UK, Poland, South Africa and Vietnam, and was India’s Ambassador to Czech Republic, Ireland, and Russia. From 2000 to 2004, he was joint secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, dealing with foreign affairs, nuclear energy, space, defense, and national security.

Deep Pal is a visiting fellow in the Asia program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Additional Reading:

Fateful Triangle: How China Shaped US-India Relations during the Cold War by Tanvi Madan

The External Dimensions of India-Russia Relations by P.S. Raghavan

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