The Heads of State and Government expressed their satisfaction with the stable mutual growth in trade turnover, he said. Political relations between India and Russia have been historically stable and cordial. Both countries have had the advantage of what analysts call a “problem-free environment”, despite a weak economic base. A total of 19 annual summits have been held continuously, alternating in India and Russia, since they were first established in 2000. The heads of state and government of these two countries also meet regularly at meetings – or on the sidelines – of different multilateral organizations such as the Group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the G20. In fact, it was Russia that insisted that India join the CNT; India became a full member in 2017. One of the main reasons for this was Moscow`s desire to prevent the organization from being dominated by China, a concern also shared by Central Asian countries. China, although initially resistant to the idea, agreed, provided that Pakistan also joined the multilateral body.  Yet India and Russia have striven to revive their relations. In 1993, they signed a friendship and cooperation agreement, followed a year later by a military-technical cooperation agreement.
India eventually became a leading importer of Russian arms, after a short period of 1990-93, when there was a sharp decline in the volume of arms sales.  In the mid-1990s, Russian exports to India and China contributed to 41% of the total turnover of its defense industry.  This was crucial for the survival of the Russian arms industry, which suffered from the reduction of orders for its own army after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Indeed, India and Russia had already negotiated $650 million in arms agreements in 1992.  Since then, the development of a “pure buyer-seller relationship with the research, design development and production of advanced military platforms” is a successful example. They are also involved in the local production of tanks and fighter jets, as well as the modernization of existing systems. Bilateral merchandise trade between India and Russia amounted to about $US 8.2 billion in 2018-19. “Nevertheless, it seems that New Delhi recognizes that it is better not to put all the eggs in one basket and spread trade and investment among more [partners],” Devonshire-Ellis said. . . .