India appears to be forging strategic partnerships with US, Russia, Israel, Japan, South Africa, the EU and so on. Is India clear as to what it means by this strategic partnership? Sandeep Dikshit of Hindu reported that during a recent Parliament debate, on a question on India's strategic relations with the US and Russia, the government avoided any attempt at juxtaposition and spelt out its policy for both the countries separately.
The reply said the government not only wanted to “strengthen and deepen” the relationship with the U.S. in ongoing areas of bilateral cooperation but also identify newer areas to take bilateral ties to a “higher level of engagement.” It also sought intensified engagement with the U.S. on global issues such as climate change, disarmament, international terrorism and maritime security to “strengthen India-U.S. strategic partnership.”
Russia is described as strategic partner with the decades-long association providing a “solid framework” for long-term and all-round development of relations. During the coming high-level interactions, the government hopes to hold discussions with the Russian leadership on all strategic areas of bilateral cooperation such as defence, space, energy, science and technology and trade & economy.
India is scheduled to hold high-level engagements with both countries this year. President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Defence Minister A.K. Antony are all scheduled to visit Russia this year. Dr. Singh will also go to the U.S. in November while Mr. Krishna will review the progress of the recast strategic dialogue with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington. With the U.S. keen on closer intelligence sharing and supplying modern communications and surveillance equipment to India, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has a pending invitation to visit Washington.