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The disintegration of the USSR led to the creation of a unipolar world where the sole superpower was the US. Post disintegration, India continued maintaining its good relations with all the former Soviet Republic countries, but its strongest ties remained with Russia. Both the countries share a aim for a multipolar world order which has the following features –

• The international arena has several equal powers in existence.

• Collective security for all countries with emphasis on regionalism and negotiated settlements of international conflicts.

• Countries with the ability and freedom to formulate their own foreign policies.

• Strengthened, democratised and empowered decision making process for the countries through international organisations like the UN.

In issues like the ones pertaining to Kashmir, access to Central Asia, access to energy supplies, a focal balancing point in relations to China – India stands to gain much by maintain friendly foreign relations with Russia.

Russia, in turn has access to the Indian market which not only imports its oil from Russia but also acts as the second largest market for Russian arms and ammunitions.

Russia and India have also collaborated on various scientific projects. The Indian space programme has also benefitted through backup from Russia which has advanced highly in this sector.

Culturally, Russia has been greatly influenced by India and Bollywood is perhaps one of the most famous exports of India to Russia and is part of the Russian daily life.

The progressive relation between India and Russia is further proved by the more than 80 bilateral agreements that the two countries have signed as part of the Indo-Russian Strategic Agreement of 2001.

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