Context: Russia has launched an energetic behind-the-scenes effort to defuse military tensions between India and China, 

More about the news:

  • Russia is going to host a trilateral RIC video conference, which includes External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
  • Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister discussed regional security, including developments on the Line of Actual Control on the border between India and China in the Himalayas,” with Indian ambassador to Russia.

Moscow’s “high stakes” in India-China relation 

  • Eurasia: Good relations between India and China are central to the rise of Eurasia and the emergence of a multipolar world order, which is not dominated by a single pole.
  • SCO: It points to the “centrality” of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which includes India, Pakistan, Russia and China as well as most of the Central Asian Republics as the anchor of a “post-west” global system.
  • Brics: India- China tensions will not only have a huge negative impact on the SCO but also on the rise of the emerging economies under the Brazil Russia India China South Africa (BRICS) grouping.

India would do well to give RIC the due importance. India is actually both a maritime and continental power. India cannot cede geostrategic space in the Eurasian supercontinent to China if it wants to be a great power and it understands that Russia alone will not be able to prevent the emergence of China as a hegemon in Eurasia. 

About Russia-India-China (RIC)

  • It was conceived by the then Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov in 1998, much before BRICS.
  • The three countries have agreed to hold regular summits from now on at all levels to jointly promote peace and stability. 

Objectives: They emphasised on the need to promote multilateralism, reform institutions of global governance like the UN and the WTO and highlighted the need to work together to steer global economic governance.

Significance: The RIC brings together the three largest Eurasian countries which are also incidentally geographically contiguous.

  • Together, the RIC countries occupy over 19 percent of the global landmass and contribute to over 33 percent of global GDP. 
  • All three are nuclear powers and two, Russia and China, are permanent members of the UN Security Council, while India aspires to be one. 
  • Russia becomes the bridge between India and China, since it enjoys strong relations with both. 
  • Moreover, the RIC forms the core of both the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the BRICS.