In the past month, Indian diplomacy has been at its sharpest best, it could be argued, in last few years, while dealing with an old friend Russia and the new friend US, and keeping Pakistan at bay. These achievements were as expected.


But beyond that, it was energy diplomacy that was also addressed, as the world braces itself for a rise in oil prices following the drone attack on the Saudi Abqaiq oil facility, which would have a serious impact on Saudi Arabia’s ability to meet the world and India’s demands.



The US has blamed Iran for the attack, but this has been stoutly denied by Tehran. However, the fears of a conflict in the Gulf region, India’s primary source of energy supplies, is likely to get India to look at other sources like Russia. Thus, Mr Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Russia’s energy rich Far Eastern region as the focus of Indo-Russian ties shifts to energy supplies, apart from a long standing defence relationship.


Russian purchase of Essar Oil has given it a USD 13 billion footprint in India’s energy sector, and Indian petrochemical firms have invested USD 7 billion in Russia. And now India will invest in oil and gas fields of Siberia. Clearly Indo-Russian ties now have a new template for bilateral relations beyond their traditional defence engagements.


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Maroof Raza

Maroof Raza is currently the Consultant cum Strategic Affairs Expert for Times Now; a leading Indian English language Television channel and editor at Salute Magazine; on which, apart from his appearances on news debates, he anchors a weekend TV show on World Affairs “Latitude”. He writes a fortnightly column on and also a monthly column for Fauji India. He had earlier also anchored and presented a 26 part series on the Indian armed forces, titled ‘Line of Duty’. An episode from this series, on the Siachen Glacier won an Award in the military documentary section at the Film Festival in Rome in 2005. This TV series has entered the “Limca Book of Records” as India’s first military reality show. Maroof Raza currently writes a column for ‘Salute India’ a monthly magazine for India’s armed forces, and has written editorials for all the leading newspapers of India, and has lectured extensively in India and abroad on India’s security concerns. He has also authored several articles, essays and books.

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