The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-2-80-88

A. Kupriyanov (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences. 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article is devoted to the phenomenon of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), the only structure that deals with security issues in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). This is a unique organization that originated as a scientific conference and, due to the interaction of scientists, politicians and the Indian Navy, has become a full-fledged format of cooperation between all countries of the IOR. The article describes the backstory of the formation of the organization, the controversy surrounding its creation and problems it faced, as well as the history of its existence. There were several periods in its history: the initial period of high hopes during the presidency of India, stagnation during the presidencies of the UAE and South Africa, the revival during the presidencies of Australia and Bangladesh. The main problems that IONS faces now are highlighted: the absence of China and the United States having interests in the Indian Ocean, the poverty of the participating countries and dependence of the IONS work on the Indian funding, conflicts of the participating countries with each other, lack of readiness to respond quickly to changes in the situation. The author argues that some of these problems are inherent in any semi-formal and informal organization, or determined by the leading role of India in the region, and that, contrary to predictions about the imminent collapse of the IONS, this format is developing very successfully. The article discusses proposals of experts to improve the IONS functioning, some of which are already being implemented. The author believes that it makes sense to transfer the IONS experience to other regions where the development of traditional formats is unprofitable for Russia – such as the North of the Pacific Ocean, the Baltic and the Arctic.

Keywords: IONS, Indian Ocean, security system, India, informal organizations


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For citation:
Kupriyanov A. The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 2, pp. 80-88.

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