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Speakers

Member, UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters
Chairperson, National Security Advisory Board
Co-Chair, Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace
Moderator

Date & Time

Thursday Thu, 11 Jul 2024

Location

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

In a rapidly evolving global landscape, the historical bond between India and Russia stands at a crossroads, presenting both challenges and opportunities. This session explores the multifaceted nature of their relationship amidst significant geopolitical shifts.

Historically, India and Russia have enjoyed a robust partnership, characterised by deep-rooted ties and mutual cooperation. However, recent global events, such as the rise of China, the conflict in Ukraine, and changing US foreign policies, have introduced new complexities to their strategic interactions.

Economically, both nations have benefited from trade and energy collaborations, but sanctions on Russia and India’s economic diversification efforts pose significant challenges. In defense and security, while arms trade and joint military exercises remain strong, India’s growing defense relationships with Western countries add layers of strategic ambiguity. Regionally, the dynamics in areas like Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific region influence bilateral relations, necessitating a recalibration of strategies. On the multilateral front, platforms like BRICS and the SCO offer both collaboration and contention.

This session seeks to provide a comprehensive understanding of the dilemmas and opportunities in India-Russia relations, offering insights into the future trajectory of this pivotal partnership in a world marked by constant flux.

Speakers

Venkatesh Varma

Member, UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters

D.B.Venkatesh Varma served in the Indian Foreign Service from 1988 to 2021. During his diplomatic career, he worked in the Office of the External Affairs Minister and in the Prime Minister’s Office. He served as India’s Ambassador to Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, to the Kingdom of Spain and to the Russian Federation, until October 2021.He has vast experience in India’s Security and Defence policies and served as Joint Secretary in charge of Disarmament and International Security in the Ministry of External Affairs. He was the first Recipient of the S.K.Singh Award for Excellence in the Indian Foreign Service in 2011 for his contribution to the negotiations of the Civil Nuclear Initiative. He is a Distinguished Fellow at the VIF New Delhi.  He is a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters

P S Raghavan

Chairperson, National Security Advisory Board

P.S. Raghavan is Chairman of the National Security Advisory Board, which advises India’s National Security Council on issues of security and strategic affairs. He is a Distinguished Fellow at the Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi and Emeritus Resource Faculty in the Rashtriya Raksha University, Gandhinagar. 

He held diplomatic positions in USSR, Poland, UK, Vietnam and South Africa. He has been India’s Ambassador to Russia, Ireland and Czechia.

He has served as Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. In the Ministry of External Affairs, he founded and headed the Development Partnership Administration, which implements India’s economic projects abroad. He was Secretary (Economic Relations), steering India’s external economic engagement.

Latha Reddy

Co-Chair, Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace

Latha Reddy served in the Indian Foreign Service from 1975 to 2013. The highlights of her career were her postings as Consul General in Durban, South Africa, Ambassador to Portugal, and later to Thailand, and serving as Secretary(East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, and finally, as the Deputy National Security Advisor of India.

Since her retirement in 2013, she has been based in her hometown Bangalore. Here she has worked intensively on Cybersecurity and served on two Global Commissions on the subject. She has served on the Boards of a Microfinance company, a bank, and a Telecom industry body.

She also heads and works actively on several NGOs and Trusts in the fields of heritage, theatre, international affairs, creative arts, classical dance and music.

She is a Fellow of the Observer Research Foundation and is on the Adjunct Faculty of the Takshashila Institute.