News Excerpt
Russia hosted the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral foreign ministers’ virtual meeting.

Pre-Connect
●    The RIC meeting was organised at Russia. It was Moscow’s initiative to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of WW-II and the foundation of the UN.
●    In a thinly veiled dig at China, India urged that the world’s “leading voices” should act in an exemplary manner by respecting international law and recognising the interests of partners.
●    India also made a strong case for a greater role in the decision-making of international organisations such as the UN and in what India has been describing as are formed multilateral world order.
●    This meeting comes at the backdrop of the violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley.
●    These were India’s first fatalities in a confrontation along the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC) in 45 years.
●    India asserted in the meeting that the international affairs must come to terms with contemporary reality.

Analytica
    Since India and China are both strategic partners, Russia has been following a very cautious approach toward their border crisis.
    There is a strong partnership between China and Russia. While India has a time-tested strong relationship with Russia.
    So, in a sense, Russia becomes the bridge between India and China since it enjoys strong ties with both.
    The RIC forms the core of both the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the BRICS.
    For China, the RIC provides a platform where it can push its interests in Eurasia.
    The RIC could also contribute to creating a new economic structure for the world. They could work together on disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.
    The RIC has a common interest in ensuring that the Northern Sea Route is not left to the West and Russia alone and that India and China make the transition from rule followers to rule makers by helping formulate some of the rules governing the Arctic route.
    The RIC summit is a continuation of the turnaround in India’s foreign policy after summit in Wuhan and Mamallapuram.

Way Forward
    Any holistic, stable security architecture on the Eurasian landmass cannot develop without having Beijing, Delhi and Moscow on board and the RIC offers the ideal forum for this.
    The drawback of India focusing only on groupings like the Quad and the JAI (Japan-USA-India) is that these groupings essentially revolve around the Indo Pacific and will confine India to being only a maritime power when it is actually both a maritime and continental power.
    It is important for India as an aspiring power to be able to thwart China’s aspirations of being a hegemon in both the maritime and continental spheres.
    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.


PEPPER IT WITH
The QUAD, Japan-USA-India (JAI), IBSA, BASIC, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), INSTC,

Russia India China (RIC) grouping
    RIC is a strategic grouping that was founded in the late 1990s under the leadership of Yevgeny Primakov, a Russian politician as a counterbalance to the Western alliance.
    It aimed to end Russia’s subservient foreign policy guided by the USA and renew old ties with India and foster the newly discovered friendship with China.
    RIC countries occupy over 19% of the global landmass and contribute to over 33% of global GDP.
    All the three countries are nuclear powers and the two countries namely Russia and China are permanent members of the UN Security Council, while India aspires to be one