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Presentation Of The Best Essays And The Debates: The Asian Dialogue 2023 Has Ended In St Petersburg

On 7 June, St Petersburg State University hosted the last working day of the new research and educational programme of the Gorchakov Fund dedicated to the cooperation between the Russia and South Asia.

The day started with speeches by young international relations specialists who are the authors of the best essays that had to be submitted as part of their application to take part in the conference. This section was moderated by Kirill Likhachev, PhD in History, Associate Professor at the Department of Theory and History of International Relations, St Petersburg University.

Andrey Zaitsev, a postgraduate student at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academic Editor of the General History section of the Great Russian Encyclopedia:

Focused on the situation of the Indian diaspora in Russia and Russian compatriots in India. The speaker named the main government agencies of both countries working with citizens living abroad:

Olga Kharina, PhD in Political Science, Researcher, Associate Professor at the School of International Regional Studies, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University

Named five promising areas for Russian-Indian cooperation: transport infrastructure, agro-processing, digital technology, small and medium-sized enterprises, and joint production of consumer goods. She also gave an example of bilateral cooperation in space: they year, India tested an emergency rescue system for the crew of the Gaganyaan Indian spacecraft. During her speech, the expert also noted that in 2022-2023, Russia became one of India’s top five trading partners due to a surge in the energy purchase by the country:

The threat of sanctions and potential restrictions on Indian companies access to global markets are the main obstacle to our cooperation. The second problem is that we cannot pay in national currencies, as such agreements have never been concluded yet. We need independent trade routes, foe example, the third countries. It is possible to trade through Kazakhstan within the EAEU or to build a pharmaceutical plant on its territory.

Rashad Namazov, a graduate student of the School of International Relations, St Petersburg University:

emphasized the quantitative data of Russia-Pakistan economic exchange. According to the speaker’s figures, bilateral trade in 2022 was $709.8 million, which is an increase of 1.31% over the previous year. Russian exports to Pakistan grew by 38.6% to $481 million, primarily due to an increase in the supply of wheat:

Russian-Pakistani relations moved to a new level but the main project, the construction of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline, remains unimplemented.

Raj Kumar Sharma, Visiting Researcher at the United Service Institution of India, New Delhi, in his presentation explained the phenomenon of Russian-Indian relations by the similarities in strategic culture. The countries have never been at war with each other and have been historical partners:

Today, the Indian society closely monitors what is happening in Russia, including the Ukrainian conflict. New Delhi’s policy is also closely linked to Eurasian integration.

Then the forum saw debates on “The US confrontation with Russia and the PRC, and its influence on the configuration of South Asian foreign policy relations” moderated by Kirill Likhachev. The international relations specialists heatedly debated possible trajectories of each regional state’s diplomacy towards its neighbours amid an unprecedented clash of major actors’ interests.

The presentation of the “Russia-India Dialogue” research as a result of the case study series became the final working event the forum. The results were presented by an independent researcher, Arthur Makhlayuk.

In the evening, each of the forum participants received a commemorative certificate from the Gorchakov Fund team in a solemn ceremony. The Asian Dialogue is the first research and educational programme of the Gorchakov Fund on the dialogue between Russia and the South Asia countries. The event took place at the School of International Relations of St Petersburg State University.

More than 60 representatives of Russia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, as well as Iran and Uzbekistan became the Dialogue participants. The experts of the forum discussed the fundamental avenues for cooperation with the countries of the region, as well as domestic issues which directly affect the foreign policy course of the South Asia states.