Putin will land in India, focusing on military and energy relations

Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive in India on Monday, his second overseas visit since the pandemic, seeking to strengthen military and energy relations with traditional allies pursued by Washington.

In response to a rising China, Washington has established a four-party security dialogue with India, Japan, and Australia, which has aroused concerns in Beijing and Moscow.

During the Cold War, India and the Soviet Union had a close relationship. This relationship has always existed. New Delhi called it a “special and privileged strategic partnership.”

“The friendship between India and Russia has withstood the test of time,” Modi told Putin at a virtual summit in September. “You have always been a good friend of India.”

This is only the Russian leader’s second trip abroad since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic-he did not attend the G20 and COP26 summits this year-before he held a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Geneva. Month summit.

“This is very symbolic,” said Nandan Unnikrishnan from the New Delhi Observer Research Foundation think tank.

“This shows that they don’t want relations between the two countries to stagnate or slow down because they need Russian help.”

But Putin must deal with complex regional dynamics. After a deadly conflict in the disputed Himalayas, tensions between India and Russia’s traditional ally China have increased.

“Russia’s influence in the region is very limited,” said Tatiana Belousova of OP Jindal Global University in Haryana. Actions that are in the interests of the Chinese region.”

-‘Quite amazing’-

The Kremlin said last week that the talks will focus on defense and energy issues. Igor Sechin, the boss of the Russian energy giant Rosneft, is also visiting because “many important energy agreements” are under discussion. .

For a long time, Russia has been India’s main weapons supplier, and India is seeking to modernize its armed forces. One of their most notable contracts is the long-range S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system.

The deal, valued at more than US$5 billion, was signed in 2018 and has reportedly begun to be delivered, but it has the potential to overturn the rapidly developing relationship between New Delhi and Washington.

The United States is threatening to impose sanctions under the “Sanctions Against American Adversaries Act” (CAATSA) aimed at containing Russia. The US State Department said last week that it has not yet made any decision on any waivers for India.

“Despite the US disapproval, India still decided to advance the S-400 transaction, which is very remarkable,” Belosova said.

New Delhi has long sought to diversify its military imports, but analysts believe it may take some time to get rid of Russia.

Unik Rishnan stated that, given the “increasing unabated” tensions with Pakistan, military equipment is “critical” to India. “You will try to cultivate everything you need to ensure this.”

India is also keen to increase domestic production and has established a joint venture with Russia to produce AK-203 assault rifles.

India and Russia usually hold annual summits, but the last face-to-face meeting between leaders was held during the 2019 BRICS summit in Brazil.

India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement last month: “The leaders of the two countries will review the status and prospects of bilateral relations and discuss ways to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.”

The two foreign ministers and defense ministers will also hold talks on Monday.

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