Russia, India look to deepen tech ties through AI, joint ventures

In March, Russia’s largest tech firm Yandex opened an offensive AI research lab in New Delhi in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. The lab aims to develop AI systems for applications like cybersecurity, robotics and data analysis.

Russia and India are seeking to strengthen economic cooperation through increased joint ventures and collaborative research in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, according to observers of the two nations’ strategic partnership.

In March, Russia’s largest tech firm Yandex opened an offensive AI research lab in New Delhi in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. The lab aims to develop AI systems for applications like cybersecurity, robotics and data analysis.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov has also advocated for creating more joint ventures between the two countries in areas like microelectronics, aviation, and space technology. During a visit to New Delhi in December, he signed agreements to establish several Indo-Russian joint ventures.

For India’s technology sector, deepening ties with Russia provide access to a highly skilled workforce as well as opportunities to market products and services to Russia’s vast domestic market as an alternative to Western nations.

However, critics argue that an overreliance on Russia for high-tech cooperation risks perpetuating India’s status as primarily an offshore services hub rather than an indigenous innovator. There are also concerns about potentially violating U.S. export control laws restricting transfers of sensitive technologies to Russian entities.

As Russia grows increasingly isolated, India has attempted to carve out a middle ground by avoiding overt criticism of Moscow while still preserving ties to Western nations. But that balancing act is being tested as major powers double down on developing critical future technologies like AI that could tilt the scales of military and economic superiority.

For the stalwart Russia-India partnership that dates back to the Cold War era, the pursuit of AI prowess and next-generation innovation may prove the latest chapter in their complicated, multi-aligned relationship. Finding the right formula will require deft manoeuvring as strategic competition over technology supremacy intensifies.