Admitting that Russia's relations with India have not "developed properly" after the breakup of the Soviet Union, a Russian indologist has called for a proactive approach with focus on cooperation in the energy sector, including nuclear.
"Celebrating 2008 as the Year of Russia and 2009 as the Year of India is not enough. These are mere symbolisms. We have to be active, otherwise we will lose," says indologist Felix Yurlov.
Prof Yurlov, head of the Department of Contemporary Problems of Indian Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, says relations with India did not develop properly after the disintegration of the Soviet Union as Russia looked more towards the West than the East.
"We have forgotten India is a great neighbour. Of late, we are trying to rectify the position. But we have to move much faster in cooperation.We have to run twice as fast to remain at the same place," he says.
"Wehave to think big at the strategic level, otherwise we are doomed to failure," he adds.
Theindologist suggests energy as a "very promising" field of cooperation as India requires lots of energy.
"Butwe are not doing enough, except for oil exploration in Shakalin," he points out, conceding that Russia might be losing out to the US in building relations with India.
Healso calls pharmaceuticals as a "big" field for cooperation between the two countries.
Anotherindologist Tatyana Shaumyan says Russia can gain from India's success in software and small scale sectors.
ProfRostislav Rybakov says Mahatma Gandhi's ideals can be the key to contemporary problems.
"Theyounger generation has to be familiarised with his legacy," Prof Rybakov added.