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Indo-Soviet Relations — Documents (1971)

I

PRESIDENT PODGORNY’S MESSAGE TO YAHYA KHAN

2 April 1971

Esteemed Mr. President, the report that the talks in Dacca had been broken off and that the military administration had found it necessary to resort to extreme measures and used armed force against the population of East Pakistan was met with great alarm in the Soviet Union.

Soviet people cannot but be concerned by the numerous casualties, by the sufferings and privations that such a development of events brings to the people of Pakistan. Concern is also caused in the Soviet Union by the arrests and persecution of Mujibur Rahman and other politicians who had received such convincing support by the overwhelming majority of the population of East Pakistan at the recent general elections. Soviet people have always sincerely wished the people of Pakistan all the best and prosperity and rejoiced at their successes in solving in a democratic manner the complex problems that faced the country.

In these days of trial for the Pakistani people we cannot but say a few words, coming from true friends. We have been and remain convinced that the complex problems that have arisen in Pakistan of late can and must be solved politically, without use of force. Continuation of represssive measures and bloodshed in East Pakistan will, undoubtedly, only make the solution of the problems more difficult and may do great harm to the vital interests of the entire people of Pakistan.

We consider it our duty to address you, Mr. President, on behalf of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, with an insistent appeal for the adoption of the most urgent measures to stop the bloodhsed and repression against the population in East Pakistan and for turning to methods of a peaceful political settlement. We were convinced that this would meet the interests of the entire people of Pakistan, and the interests of pieserving peace in the area.

A peaceful solution of the problems that have arisen would be received with satisfaction by the entire Soviet people.

In appealing to you we were guided by the generally recognised humanitarian principles recorded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and by concern for the welfare of the friendly people of Pakistan.

We hope, Mr. President, that you will correctly interpret the motives by which we are guided in making this appeal. It is our sincere wish that tranquility and justice be established in East Pakistan in the shortest possible time.

II

INDO-SOVIET JOINT STATEMENT

8 June 1971

From 6 to 8 June 1971, Mr. Swarn Singh, Minister of External Affaiis of India paid an unofficial visit to Moscow as a guest of the Soviet Government.

In the course of discussions and talks held in an atmosphere of cordiality and mutual understanding a wide range of questions of Soviet-Indian relations, and topical international problems of interest to both states were touched upon.

The two sides expressed their conviction that Soviet-Indian friendship will further strengthen and develop in the interests of the peoples of both countries, and in the cause of strengthening peace in Asia and in the whole world.

The two sides recognised the necessity to continue to develop friendly ties and contacts at various levels and exchange of opinion between the Governments of the USSR and India on major international issues.

The two sides noted the coincidence of points of view of India and the Soviet Union on all major international problems. They stressed the necessity of efforts of all peace-loving countries to settle such important problems affecting the interests of universal peace as termination of the war in Indo-China, political settlement of the Middle-East crisis, ensuring European security and achieving general and complete disarmament.

During the negotiations was also discussed the serious situation created by the continuing stream of millions of refugees from East Pakistan coming into the adjoining states of India. The Minister of External Affairs of India expressed his sincere thanks for the frank and clear understanding of the difficulty of this situation expressed in the message of the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Mr. N.V. Podgorny to the President of Pakistan on 2nd April, 1971 in which the conviction was expressed that the resort to peaceful methods for achieving political settlement would correspond to the interest of the entire Pakistani people, the cause of preserving peace in this region.

The Indian Foreign Minister explained the social, economic and political problems as also the tensions created by the development of events in East Pakistan. He stated that the problem of ensuring that food and shelter was made available to these millions flooding into India from East Pakistan, has been further complicated due to the outbreak of epidemics.

The two sides after a detailed discussion -on the various aspects of the problems created in this context, consider that it is imperative for immediate measures to be taken in East Pakistan which would ensure the stoppage of influx of refugees from East Pakistan. Simultaneously, it is desirable to take further steps to ensure that peace is restored and all conditions of security are created for the return of the refugees to their homes in East Pakistan. Taking into account the seriousness of the situation, the two sides agreed to remain in touch with each other in order to review the situation.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of India thanked the Soviet Government for the warm and cordial reception accorded to him.

The two sides are of the opinion that the visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Swaran Singh, his meetings and talks with Soviet statesmen will serve the cause of the further development of friendly relations and fruitful co-operation between the two countries. 

III

TREATY OF PEACE, FRIENDSHIP AND COOPERATION BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA AND THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS

9 August 1971

Desirous of expanding and consolidating the existing relations of sincere friendship between them,

Believing that the further development of friendship and cooperation meets the basic national interests of both the states as well as the interests of lasting peace in Asia and the world,

Determined to promote the consolidation of universal peace and security and to make steadfast efforts for the relaxation of international tensions and the final elimination of the remnants of colonialism,

Upholding their firm faith in the principles of peaceful coexistence and cooperation between states with different political and social systems,

Convinced that in the world today international problems can only be solved by cooperation and not by conflict,

Reaffirming their determination to abide by the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter,

The Republic of India on the one side, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the other side,

Have decided to conclude the present Treaty, for which purpose the following Plenipotentiaries have been appointed:

On behalf of the Republic of India: Sardar Swaran Singh, Minister of External Affairs,

On behalf of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Mr. A. A. Gromyko, Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Who, having each presented their Credentials, which are found to be in proper form and due order,

Have agreed as follows:

ARTICLE I

The High Contracting Parties solemnly declare that enduring peace and friendship shall prevail between the two countries and their peoples. Each party shall respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the other Party and refrain from interfering in the other’s internal affairs. The High Contracting Parties shall continue to develop and consolidate the relations of sincere friendship, good-neighbourliness and comprehensive cooperation existing between them on the basis of the aforesaid principles as well as those of equality and mutual benefit.

ARTICLE II

Guided by the desire to contribute in every possible way to ensure enduring peace and security of their people, the High Contracting Parties declare their determination to continue their efforts to preserve and to strengthen peace in Asia and through-out the world, to halt the arms race and to achieve general and complete disarmament, including both nuclear and conventional, under effective international control.

ARTICLE III

Guided by their loyalty to the lofty ideal of equality of all peoples and nations, irrespective of race or creed, the High Contracting Parties condemn colonialism and racialism in all forms and manifestations, and reaffirm their determination to strive for their final and complete elimination.

The High Contracting Parties shall cooperate with other states to achieve these aims and to support the just aspirations of the peoples in their struggle against colonialism and racial domination.

ARTICLE IV

The Republic of India respects the peace-loving policy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics aimed at strengthening friendship and cooperation with all nations.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republic respects India’s policy of non-alignment and reaffirms that this policy constitutes an important factor in the maintenance of universal peace and international security and in the lessening of tensions in the world.

ARTICLE V

Deeply interested in ensuring universal peace and security, attaching great importance to their mutual cooperation in the international field for achieving those aims, the High Contracting Parties will maintain regular contacts with each other on major international problems affecting the interests of both the states by means of meetings and exchanges of views between their leading statesmen, visits by official delegations and special envoys of the two Governments, and through diplomatic channels.

ARTICLE VI

Attaching great importance to economic, scientific and technological cooperation between them, the High Contracting Parties will continue to consolidate and expand mutually advantageous and comprehensive cooperation in these fields as well as expand trade, transport and communications between them on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual benefit and most-favoured nation treatment, subject to the existing agreements and the special arrangements with contiguous countries as specified in the Indo-Soviet Trade Agreement of December 26, 1970.

ARTICLE VII

The High Contracting Parties shall promote further development of ties and contacts between them in the fields of science, art, literature, education, public health, press, radio, television, cinema, tourism and sports.

ARTICLE VIII

In accordance with the traditional friendship established bet¬ween the two countries, each of the High Contracting Parties solemnly declares that it shall not enter into or participate in any military alliance directed against the other Party.

Each High Contracting Party undertakes to abstain from any aggression against the other Party and to prevent the use of its territory for the commission of any act which might inflict military damage on the other High Contracting Party.

ARTICLE IX

Each High Contracting Party undertakes to abstain from providing any assistance to any third party that engages in armed conflict with the other Party. In the event of either Party being subjected to an attack or a threat thereof, the High Contracting Parties shall immediately enter into mutual consultations in order to remove such threat and to take appropriate effective measures to ensure peace and the security of their countries.

ARTICLE X

Each High Contracting Party solemnly declares that it shall not enter into any obligation, secret or public, with one or more states, which is incompatible with this Treaty. Each High Contracting Party declares that no obligation exists, nor shall any obligation be entered into, between itself and any other state or states, which might cause military damage to the other Party.

ARTICLE XI

This Treaty is concluded for the duration of twenty years and will be automatically extended to each successive period of live years unless either High Contracting Party declares its desire to terminate it by giving notice to the other High Contracting Party twelve months prior to the expiration of the Treaty. The Treaty will be subject to ratification and will come into force on the date of the exchange of Instruments of Ratification which will take place in Moscow within one month of the signing of this Treaty.

ARTICLE XII

Any difference of interpretation of any Article or Articles of this Treaty which may arise between the High Contracting Parties will be settled bilaterally by peaceful means in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding.

The said Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Treaty in Hindi, Russian and English, all texts being equally authentic and have affixed thereto their seals.

Done in New Delhi on the ninth day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred and seventy-one.

On behalf of the Republic of India: (Sd.) Swaran Singh, Minister of External Affairs.

On behalf of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: (Sd.) A.A. Gromyko, Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

IV

A. A. GROMYKO’S SPEECH AT THE SIGNING CEREMONY

9 August 1971

There are momentous events in relations between States which come as fruits of dozens of years prepared by the previous development of these relations. The Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation which has just been signed is one such most important landmark for the Soviet Union and India.

The significance of this Treaty cannot be over-estimated. It crowns the principles and consistent policy of our two countries aimed at cooperation and friendship. In India the basis of that policy was laid down by the outstanding national leader and statesman Jawaharlal Nehru. He found his true successor in the esteemed Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

The Soviet Union, on its part, following the Leninist foreign policy, has always, from the very first days of independence won by the great Indian people, set the firm and invariable course at achieving ever stronger and wider friendship with India. At all times, both in hardship and jubilation we have been together. It was so in the past, it is so at present for friendship and cooperation between the Soviet Union and India, far from being motivated by considerations of the moment, is firmly rooted in the long-standing vital interests of our peoples and States, in their concern for the preservation of peace. Our relationship rests on mutual trust, equality, respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of each other. The conclusion of the Soviet-Indian Treaty provides an even stronger political and legal basis for these relations.

Alongside this the Treaty is a document of great international importance contributing to the consolidation of peace in Asia and elsewhere, peace which is needed by all nations, including those of the continent of Asia.

The Soviet Union comes out for strong peace in Asia, in Europe and in all other parts of the globe. Our programme of struggle for peace and the development of international cooperation and against aggression is a matter of common knowledge.

We are happy that in this noble work in defence of peace India and the Soviet Union are acting hand in hand and we are convinced that this will continue in future. 

May I express the confidence that the Soviet-Indian Treaty will be met with satisfaction by all those who cherish the cause of peace and friendship among nations?

V

SWARAN SINGH’S STATEMENT IN LOK SABHA

9 August 1971

I have the honour to lay on the table of the House a copy of Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation, signed today by me on behalf of the Government of India with Mr. A. A. Gromyko, Foreign Minister of the USSR Government, who has signed it on behalf of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The Government welcomes this Treaty as a further step towards strengthening friendship and cooperation between India and the Soviet Union. The Treaty will, we are convinced, provide a stabilising factor in favour of peace, security and development not only of our two countries, but the region as a whole. It is not aimed against any third country. In fact, we hope that this Treaty will provide a pattern for similar treaties between India and other countries in this region. Such treaties between countries of this region would stabilise peace and strengthen their independence and sovereignty.

I should like to emphasise in particular that this Treaty is, in its true sense, a treaty of peace. It strengthens our policy of non- alignment, respect for which is expressly mentioned in the Treaty. We sincerely hope that the policy of non-alignment will be further strengthened and will become an effective instrument for the safeguarding of our national interests as well as an important factor in the maintenance of universal peace and international security and in the lessening of tensions in the world.

It is a Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation. It is also a treaty of non-aggression. It further provides a credible assurance that in the event of an attack or a threat thereof, the high contracting parties shall immediately enter into mutual consultations in order to remove such a threat and to take appropriate effective measures to ensure peace and the security of their countries. This should act as a deterrent to any Powers that may have aggressive designs on our territorial integrity and sovereignty. It is, therefore, in essence, a treaty of peace against war.

Sir, the world is presenting a rapidly changing and dynamic picture. There is a change in the configuration of various world forces. Our policy of non-alignment is a dynamic policy which can be adapted to these changing situations. I should like to assure the members that our policy of peace stands firm as ever. We have no designs on the territory of other countries. At the same time, we shall not tolerate aggression or threat of aggression from any country. We do not want to provoke war with any country. We shall do everything in our power to defend peace and prevent war.

VI

JOINT INDO-SOVIET STATEMENT 

12 August 1971

On the invitation of the Government of India, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, Flis Excellency Mr. A.A. Gromyko, paid an official visit to India from August 8 to 12, 1971.

During his stay in New Delhi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR called on the President of India, V.V. Giri, and was received by the Prime Minister of India, Shrimati Indira Gandhi. He also met the Food and Agriculture Minister, Shri Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, the Finance Minister, Shri Y.B. Chavan and the Defence Minister, Shri Jagjivan Ram. He had several meetings and talks with Sardar Swaran Singh, Minister of External Affairs of India.

The meetings and talks were held in an atmosphere of warm friendship and cordiality. It was noted with deep satisfaction that the friendly relations and fruitful cooperation between the Soviet Union and India in the political, economic, cultural, technical and scientific fields are developing successfully and hold great promise for further expansion. The political and legal basis of this cooperation is further strengthened by the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation between the USSR and India, which was signed in New Delhi by Sardar Swaran Singh, Minister of External Affairs of India and Mr. A. A, Gromyko Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR.

Both sides consider that the conclusion of the Treaty is an outstanding historic event for their two countries. The Treaty is a logical outcome of the relations of sincere friendship, respect, mutual trust and the varied ties which have been established between the Soviet Union and India in the course of many years and have stood the test of time. It corresponds to the basic interests of the Indian and Soviet peoples and opens up wide prospects for raising the fruitful cooperation between the USSR and India to a higher level. Alongside other provisions concerning bilateral Soviet-Indian relations the Treaty provides for the two sides maintaining regular contacts with each other on major international problems and holding mutual consultations with a view to taking appropriate effective measures to safeguard the peace and the security of their countries.

The Treaty between the USSR and India is a real act of peace expressing the community of policy and aspirations of the USSR and India in the struggle to strengthen peace in Asia and through out the world and for safeguarding international security. All provisions of the Treaty serve these purposes. The Treaty is not against anyone; it is meant to be a factor in developing friendship and good-neighbourliness, in keeping with the principles of the UN Charter.

The Governments of India and the USSR are confident that the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation will meet with complete approval on the part of all those who are really interested in the preservation of peace in Asia and throughout the world and on the part of the Governments of all peace-loving States.

In the course of the meetings and talks, both sides noted with satisfaction that their positions on various problems discussed were identical or very close. The Minister of External Affairs of India explained the heavy burden placed on India’s resources due to over 7 million refugees who had entered India. Both sides, after a detailed discussion, reiterated their firm conviction that there can be no military solution and considered it necessary that urgent steps be taken in East Pakistan for the achievement of a political solution and for the creation of conditions of safety for the return of the refugees to their homes which alone would answer the interests of the entire people of Pakistan and the cause of the preservation of peace in the area.

The Indian side expressed its gratitude for the understanding of the problem shown by the Soviet Union as was evident from the appeal addressed on April 2, 1971 to the President of Pakistan by the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Mr. N.V. Podgorny.

Both sides held the view that outside interference in the affairs of Indo-China should immediately cease. They consider that it will be futile to attempt to impose any settlement not acceptable to the peoples of the area. They welcomed the recent seven-point proposal of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam as a concrete step forward which could form the basis of a peaceful political settlement.

On West Asia, both sides were convinced of the urgent need for the implementation of the Resolution of the Security Council of November 22, 1967, so that the consequences of aggression are liquidated.

Both sides considered that all international problems, including border disputes, must be settled by peaceful negotiations and that the use of force or the threat of use of force is impermissible for their settlement.

Both sides declare that they are strongly in favour of an early agreement on General and Complete Disarmament, including both nuclear and conventional weapons, under effective international control.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR expressed his gratitude for the cordial reception given to him by the Government of India.

VII

INDIRA GANDHI’S SPEECH AT THE MOSCOW LUNCHEON

28 September 1971

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a pleasure to be in Moscow once again at the kind invitation of the leaders and the Government of the U.S.S.R. I am another and tens of thousands of people have been affected. All members of the Security Council, apart from one, have noted this tragedy and referred to it. Even the present President of Pakistan, when speaking at a meeting of the Security Council, acknowledged that in East Pakistan an error had been made—indeed he added, “It has been a tragic mistake.” Only one permanent member of the Security Council, the Peking Government, has been blind and deaf to these tragedies and sufferings of so many millions of persons. It has given unreserved support to the tyranny, terrorism and violence and not condemned those who have perpetrated it, nor has there been any expression of regret about the victims on the part of Peking, on the part of the representative of China in the Security Council, The statement made today by the representative of China once again encourages a situation of tension in the Indostan sub-continent. What can be said about this “You must be wide awake to the efforts made by provocateurs’'.

So far as the Soviet Union is concerned, from the very outset it has consistently spoken in favour of its position of principle, insisted that only the people of East Pakistan in the persons of their elected representatives who received support in the elections of December 1970 could decide their own fate. This position has been frequently explained in statements by the Soviet delegations at meetings of the Security Council and the General Assembly on this matter.

It has also been made abundantly clear in the statements of the leaders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Government and also in official statements by TASS and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union, which members of the Security Council are familiar with since these documents have been distributed as official United Nations documents. As the result of all this, the Soviet delegation while noting the merits and the significance of a number of provisions contained in the resolution adopted by the Council, was unable to support it and in the voting abstained. The Soviet delegation considers it also necessary to emphasize the official consent of India and Pakistan to put an end to hostilities, consent which has been reflected in the resolution just adopted by the Council, creates necessary conditions for the complete liquidation of the armed conflict in the India-Pakistan subcontinent and conditions for cosolidating the political method of settling the problems connected with that conflict.

To secure these goals has been precisely the constant desire of the Soviet Union since the events first began to happen in East Pakistan. We are convinced that the cease-fire in India and Pakistan responds to the vital interests of the peoples of this region and creates the necessary conditions for their national development and progress and will remove the present cause of serious tension in the world.

In this connection the Soviet Union would like to make an appeal to all countries to give comprehensive assistance for the swift restoration of peace in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent and to refrain from any steps which might make it difficult for the situation to be normalized there. I should like to draw the attention of the members of the Security Council, in conclusion, to a statement made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union on 18 December in connection with the situation which at present prevails in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent. A text of this statement has been published as an official document of the Security Council, document S/10463, and members of the Council have an opportunity to become familiar with it.

VIII

INDO-SOVIET JOINT STATEMENT

5 April 1972

The Minister for External Affairs of India, Sardar Swaran Singh paid a visit to Moscow from April 3 to 5, 1972 as a guest of the Soviet Government.

Sardar Swaran Singh was received by the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Mr. L.I. Brezhnev. He had a meeting with the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, Mr. A.N. Kosygin. Sardar Swaran Singh held talks with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the USSR, Mr. A.A. Gormyko.

The meetings and talks were held in a warm and cordial atmosphere. A wide range of questions of Soviet-Indian relations, the situation on the Hindustan peninsula and current international problems of mutual interest were discussed.

Both sides noted with deep satisfaction their determination to further develop Soviet-Indian relations, and to widen the cooperation between the Soviet Union and India in the political, economic, scientific, technical and other fields. This is proved by the fruitful development of relations between the two countries ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations whose 25th anniversary falls on April 13, 1972. The Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Co-operation between the USSR and India concluded in August 1971 has become an important factor in strengthening international peace, security and co-operation. Cementing the traditional friendship between the Soviet and Indian peoples, this treaty has opened up new horizons for widening and deepening comprehensive Soviet-Indian co-operation. An exchange of opinions was held on further concrete steps for developing and strengthening Soviet-Indian ties in various fields.

In the course of discussions concerning the situation on the Hindustan peninsula, the two sides expressed themselves in favour of an early peaceful political settlement of the problems obtaining in the area through direct negotiations between the Governments of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The Soviet Union and India believe that the normalisation of the situation on the subcontinent which genuinely takes into account the political realities of today would meet the vital interests of the peoples of the area and serve to promote and strengthen lasting peace. They are convinced that every effort should be exerted to make the subcontinent an area of peace, friendship and good neighbourliness.

The exchange of views confirmed the identity of stands taken by the USSR and India on a wide range of current international problems. It was emphasised that, acting in the spirit of harmony and mutual understanding, the USSR and India will continue their active efforts for the purpose of eliminating hotbeds of military tensions, ensuring free and independent development of nations, developing peaceful cooperation of States on the basis of equality, and consolidating the foundations of international peace and security.