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Russia seeks scientific collaboration with India after Chinese pause

Source : The Economic Times

Russia seeks scientific collaboration with India after Chinese pause
Russian Academy of Sciences (File Photo)

Russia has reached out to India to enhance and launch new collaboration between scientific establishments and bodies after China’s recent refusal to continue its partnership with the Russian Academy of Sciences, a 300-year-old institution and one of Europe’s leading scientific establishments.

China has suspended scientific cooperation with Russia following the launch of Russian “special military operations” in Ukraine, according to the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeev. While the Chinese Foreign Ministry has downplayed the development, Beijing’s move could hurt ties with Moscow. ET has learnt Russia has reached out to India for collaboration in specific sectors following Beijing’s surprise move.

Sergeev’s remarks on China in what can viewed as critique was made at the Digital International Relations 2022 conference organised last week in Russia. He noted that interaction with Chinese scientists became more complicated after the imposition of sanctions. He further noted that contacts with academies of sciences in Western countries has also been frozen due to sanctions.

“If we talk about the southern or eastern directions, unfortunately, I can say directly that our Chinese scientific colleagues have also pressed the pause [button], and over the past month we have not been able to enter into serious discussions, despite the fact that we had excellent cooperation along with regular communication,” Sergeev said.

Sergeev noted that India is a “positive example” while compared to China and the West and the Russian Academy of Sciences wants to discuss the possibilities of cooperation in pharmaceuticals, space and digital with India. Russian diplomats have been tasked to explore partnerships between scientific bodies of India and Russia, ET has learnt.

While civilian space sector has been one of the traditional areas of collaboration between India and Russia and even involved training of Indian cosmonauts for Gaganyaan program, Russia has been making nascent moves to partner Indian counterparts in the digital sphere. Russia has also recently reached out to source medicines and medical equipment from India.

In his last week’s remarks Sergeev further noted that some foreign academies have made statements that he characterizes as “aggressive.” At the same time, the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences stated that the Academy planned to “behave in such a way as not to break off relations and try to maintain them.” West has imposed large-scale sanctions that affected the scientific and technical cooperation of Russia Academy of Sciences with its counterpart.

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