India likely to continue pursuing pragmatic, friendly course toward Russia - expert
MOSCOW. March 6 (Interfax) - New Delhi is likely to keep following a historically friendly and pragmatic course in its relations with Russia, despite active pressure on it from the United States and the European Union, Alexei Kupriyanov, senior researcher at the Department of International Political Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), said.
"If we talk about [Indian Prime Minister] Narendra Modi and his inner circle, he has a very realistic attitude. The Indian political leadership won't give in to pressure from the outside and change its course to the country's disadvantage. Russia is seen as a longstanding and reliable partner, and New Delhi would like to maintain friendly relations with it," Kupriyanov said in a commentary published on the official website of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) on Saturday.
Indian businesses are facing a challenging situation in view of the Western sanctions on Russia, Kupriyanov said. "On the one hand, financiers and bankers are afraid to be exposed to secondary sanctions. At the same time, there is a tried-and-true mechanism helping avoid this, for instance, trade in the ruble-rupee system, which enables to alleviate these worries," he said.
"On the other hand, India has appealing short-term and long-term economic prospects opening to it. Because of the European sanctions, Russian grain and Russian and Belarusian fertilizers are likely to come to the Asian market at very appealing prices this year," he said.