India-Russia Relations

Butter Chicken

Senior member
Dec 2, 2017
1,218
1,164
Has Russia Lost Patience With India?

Russian attempts to punish perceived Indian transgressions could have serious impact on their relationship.

First, on February 17, a rebel leader from Balochistan province in Pakistan, who had been residing in exile in Moscow for the last 18 years, switched sides. Dr. Jumma Marri Baloch has long been one of the major leaders of the movement in the western province of Balochistan to free itself from Pakistan. He reportedly designed the flag of the “free Balochistan” separatist movement. In his reconciliation interview with a Russian media outlet, Marri blamed India for hijacking the indigenous Baloch revolt. As the drama unfolded in Moscow, one may wonder whether it was a not so subtle a message to Delhi about Russian ability to embarrass India if such a need arises.

The government of India is hard-pressed to cater to Russian interests. The armed forces, particularly the Air Force, have been seeking to diversify their base by procuring Western weaponry. The intelligentsia, though, is tired of expensive imports and is keen on spinning up indigenous development. To add to New Delhi’s woes, Western officials are now also pressuring their Indian counterparts for lucrative armament contracts. The election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency and his push toward selling American products abroad is unlikely to ease this pressure.
:
Much to the surprise and anger of Moscow, the IAF has asked for a classified briefing on the F-35 from Lockheed Martin. If India does not have funds to spare for the Russian planes, how can it possibly muster funds for the F-35? This is the question that is being asked. The Indian pilots, meanwhile, want to know why they should pay for a plane that the Russian air force itself is unwilling to fly.

In order to convince the Indians about the viability of the program, the Russian Defense Ministry ordered 12 planes on February 8. It has also deployed them in Syria to counter the media narrative against the fighters. The advanced planes are not needed in the Syrian conflict, where the Russian air force’s primary role is to bomb insurgents, but Moscow has taken a leaf out of the book of Western players. Both Rafale and Eurofighter have been used in Syria and Libya despite not being needed in the primarily uncontested bombing roles. But IAF has remained distant to the planes, claiming them to be too similar to the Sukhoi 30, which India already has in its arsenal.

Russia has threatened to go ahead with another partner for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft if India is unable to make up its mind on the long-delayed project. The invitation to the Pakistani foreign minister seems to have flown after the leaking of IAF’s desire to have a look at the F-35.
:
In geostrategic terms, an India-Russia split would harden the periphery versus core competition that is taking shape. Trump’s pressure on Pakistan at a time Russia is inviting it in with open arms could also lead to a change in its outlook. While India would be locked out of Central Asia, Russia would also end up becoming even more dependent on China. It is tough to say which state may end up with the worse of the bargain.
 

Bali78

Senior member
Dec 26, 2017
1,037
1,093
USA
Has Russia Lost Patience With India?

Russian attempts to punish perceived Indian transgressions could have serious impact on their relationship.

First, on February 17, a rebel leader from Balochistan province in Pakistan, who had been residing in exile in Moscow for the last 18 years, switched sides. Dr. Jumma Marri Baloch has long been one of the major leaders of the movement in the western province of Balochistan to free itself from Pakistan. He reportedly designed the flag of the “free Balochistan” separatist movement. In his reconciliation interview with a Russian media outlet, Marri blamed India for hijacking the indigenous Baloch revolt. As the drama unfolded in Moscow, one may wonder whether it was a not so subtle a message to Delhi about Russian ability to embarrass India if such a need arises.

The government of India is hard-pressed to cater to Russian interests. The armed forces, particularly the Air Force, have been seeking to diversify their base by procuring Western weaponry. The intelligentsia, though, is tired of expensive imports and is keen on spinning up indigenous development. To add to New Delhi’s woes, Western officials are now also pressuring their Indian counterparts for lucrative armament contracts. The election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency and his push toward selling American products abroad is unlikely to ease this pressure.
:
Much to the surprise and anger of Moscow, the IAF has asked for a classified briefing on the F-35 from Lockheed Martin. If India does not have funds to spare for the Russian planes, how can it possibly muster funds for the F-35? This is the question that is being asked. The Indian pilots, meanwhile, want to know why they should pay for a plane that the Russian air force itself is unwilling to fly.

In order to convince the Indians about the viability of the program, the Russian Defense Ministry ordered 12 planes on February 8. It has also deployed them in Syria to counter the media narrative against the fighters. The advanced planes are not needed in the Syrian conflict, where the Russian air force’s primary role is to bomb insurgents, but Moscow has taken a leaf out of the book of Western players. Both Rafale and Eurofighter have been used in Syria and Libya despite not being needed in the primarily uncontested bombing roles. But IAF has remained distant to the planes, claiming them to be too similar to the Sukhoi 30, which India already has in its arsenal.

Russia has threatened to go ahead with another partner for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft if India is unable to make up its mind on the long-delayed project. The invitation to the Pakistani foreign minister seems to have flown after the leaking of IAF’s desire to have a look at the F-35.
:
In geostrategic terms, an India-Russia split would harden the periphery versus core competition that is taking shape. Trump’s pressure on Pakistan at a time Russia is inviting it in with open arms could also lead to a change in its outlook. While India would be locked out of Central Asia, Russia would also end up becoming even more dependent on China. It is tough to say which state may end up with the worse of the bargain.
It's inevitable. During Putin's show off of his latest missiles, he sounded more like a sour loser. The future is clear. It will be a US v/s China with Russia as it's side kick. In this game, India will try to balance as much as possible, but when one has to choose between $ 128 billion trade vs $6 billion, there is not much scope for confusion. The challenge is to make the divorce as smooth as possible. In medium term(10-15 yrs) it will be painful for India, but eventually it will be Russia which will loose a lot.

Had Putin been smart, he would have improved his relationship with west. That would have ensured his position among the global leaders as well as econonomic growth for people of Russia. But just for his ego, he screwed up everything and will end up being a mere side kick!!
 

ManavantraTruti

Well-Known member
Jan 25, 2018
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Hyd
pakistan does not have the money required to resuscitate PAKFA. Only the chinese can do that and there in lies the catch. chinese will suck dry the Russians and leave them high and dry and even the Russians know that.

This is a case where the Russians have shot themselves in the foot by biting more that what it could chew. Its good to be ambitious, but its better to be wise.
 

Parul

Red Devil
Dec 2, 2017
1,231
1,227
Voronezh
pakistan does not have the money required to resuscitate PAKFA. Only the chinese can do that and there in lies the catch. chinese will suck dry the Russians and leave them high and dry and even the Russians know that.

This is a case where the Russians have shot themselves in the foot by biting more that what it could chew. Its good to be ambitious, but its better to be wise.

Don't forget Iran. It now has money and can be a future Partner in SU-57 Project.(y)
 

vstol Jockey

Professional
Dec 1, 2017
5,620
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New Delhi
The MII program will be scuttled by foreign powers. Russians especially can squeeze our balls and get whatever they want. Our huge dependence on import of weapons has created such a situation that even if we develop weapons of our own, the previous suppliers will continue to blackmail us to purchase more weapons from them by scuttling the spares supply to the existing equipment operated by Indian armed Forces. If India develops its own armament industrial base, not only will these exporters lose the world's biggest weapons import market but will also find themselves competing with India in other markets.
I do not foresee an immediate solution to this problem in near future but we need to overlook the bullshit of Russians and go ahead to develop our own armament industries. can you imagine, private dockyards and ship building centers are having unutilised capacity as we continue to give orders to Yanter shipyard for frigates which can very easily be developed and built within India by private dockyards. if we have to go ahead for imports, it shud only be thru a JV route.
Some of the weapon systems which are being imposed on us by Russia thru blackmail are Ka-226, Mig-35s and more Mig-29s, problems with IAC-1. Krivak class frigates which have become useless to Russian Navy for want of Ukrainian engines. denial of complete TOT for T-90 tanks and associated weapons tech.
 

ManavantraTruti

Well-Known member
Jan 25, 2018
515
461
Hyd
The MII program will be scuttled by foreign powers. Russians especially can squeeze our balls and get whatever they want. Our huge dependence on import of weapons has created such a situation that even if we develop weapons of our own, the previous suppliers will continue to blackmail us to purchase more weapons from them by scuttling the spares supply to the existing equipment operated by Indian armed Forces. If India develops its own armament industrial base, not only will these exporters lose the world's biggest weapons import market but will also find themselves competing with India in other markets.
I do not foresee an immediate solution to this problem in near future but we need to overlook the bullshit of Russians and go ahead to develop our own armament industries. can you imagine, private dockyards and ship building centers are having unutilised capacity as we continue to give orders to Yanter shipyard for frigates which can very easily be developed and built within India by private dockyards. if we have to go ahead for imports, it shud only be thru a JV route.
Some of the weapon systems which are being imposed on us by Russia thru blackmail are Ka-226, Mig-35s and more Mig-29s, problems with IAC-1. Krivak class frigates which have become useless to Russian Navy for want of Ukrainian engines. denial of complete TOT for T-90 tanks and associated weapons tech.

That was the inevitable conclusion to this sad story. There was never a happy ending to this tale.

There is no substitute for 100% literacy and investment in R&D.
 

Bali78

Senior member
Dec 26, 2017
1,037
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USA
The MII program will be scuttled by foreign powers. Russians especially can squeeze our balls and get whatever they want. Our huge dependence on import of weapons has created such a situation that even if we develop weapons of our own, the previous suppliers will continue to blackmail us to purchase more weapons from them by scuttling the spares supply to the existing equipment operated by Indian armed Forces. If India develops its own armament industrial base, not only will these exporters lose the world's biggest weapons import market but will also find themselves competing with India in other markets.
I do not foresee an immediate solution to this problem in near future but we need to overlook the bullshit of Russians and go ahead to develop our own armament industries. can you imagine, private dockyards and ship building centers are having unutilised capacity as we continue to give orders to Yanter shipyard for frigates which can very easily be developed and built within India by private dockyards. if we have to go ahead for imports, it shud only be thru a JV route.
Some of the weapon systems which are being imposed on us by Russia thru blackmail are Ka-226, Mig-35s and more Mig-29s, problems with IAC-1. Krivak class frigates which have become useless to Russian Navy for want of Ukrainian engines. denial of complete TOT for T-90 tanks and associated weapons tech.

True. It will be extremely painful for India. We just can't mothball our T-90s or Flankers and go for western/domestic systems over night. The migration will take at least 20-30 yrs and till then India has to bleed through it's nose and keep buying some amount of Russian junk!!
 

vstol Jockey

Professional
Dec 1, 2017
5,620
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New Delhi
True. It will be extremely painful for India. We just can't mothball our T-90s or Flankers and go for western/domestic systems over night. The migration will take at least 20-30 yrs and till then India has to bleed through it's nose and keep buying some amount of Russian junk!!
Well we will never be able to break this cycle if this circus continues for another 20-30 years. They earn money for own R&D from the weapon sales to India. Aand also to produce more of them for themselves. So they will always stay a few steps ahead.
 
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Arbit

Banned
Dec 4, 2017
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These are the withdrawal symptoms of a relationship based upon one upmanship. As this relationship moves towards one between equals or at least towards one without exploitation and misplaced gratitude, things will normalise. Give it a decade.
 
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Kshithij Sharma

Well-Known member
Dec 4, 2017
735
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India
Don't forget Iran. It now has money and can be a future Partner in SU-57 Project.(y)
The MII program will be scuttled by foreign powers. Russians especially can squeeze our balls and get whatever they want. Our huge dependence on import of weapons has created such a situation that even if we develop weapons of our own, the previous suppliers will continue to blackmail us to purchase more weapons from them by scuttling the spares supply to the existing equipment operated by Indian armed Forces. If India develops its own armament industrial base, not only will these exporters lose the world's biggest weapons import market but will also find themselves competing with India in other markets.
I do not foresee an immediate solution to this problem in near future but we need to overlook the bullshit of Russians and go ahead to develop our own armament industries. can you imagine, private dockyards and ship building centers are having unutilised capacity as we continue to give orders to Yanter shipyard for frigates which can very easily be developed and built within India by private dockyards. if we have to go ahead for imports, it shud only be thru a JV route.
Some of the weapon systems which are being imposed on us by Russia thru blackmail are Ka-226, Mig-35s and more Mig-29s, problems with IAC-1. Krivak class frigates which have become useless to Russian Navy for want of Ukrainian engines. denial of complete TOT for T-90 tanks and associated weapons tech.
I would not say that Russia needs money from India that badly. Russia has as much oil as Saudi Arabia and has more gas than Iran. In addition, it has phosphate, coal, iron, zinc, lead, copper, wood, timber and self sufficiency in food production. There is no country that is richer than Russia in natural resources. In addition, unlike USA, Russia consumes very little - 3.2 million barrels of oil a day (USA consumes 20 million barrels a day) which makes Russian needs limited and allows for export of resources.

Also, Russia has provided ToT for Su30 MKI, T90 to be made in India. Though, some spare parts are imported, the critical technology is all made in India. The spare parts imports can also be substituted with Indian made items but that will make the product lose out on the guarantee offered by Russia and may break the trust. However, Russia has given India the capability to make the goods internally and left it on mere trust rather than the USA style of having "leverage" by means of restrictions.

Missiles like Brahmos was also mae with Russian help which India is now indigenising. Cryogenic engine was also gifted by Russia.

The relation with USSR also involved assassination of Lal Bahadur Shastri with the connivance of Indira Gandhi and moles of congress.

The main problem in India was lack of civilised people with logical thinking. The problem of India is not about Russia demanding money but about the poor quality ancestors of the past who were completely illogical in thinking.

These are the withdrawal symptoms of a relationship based upon one upmanship. As this relationship moves towards one between equals or at least towards one without exploitation and misplaced gratitude, things will normalise. Give it a decade.
 
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Ashwin

Agent_47
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Nov 30, 2017
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Has Russia Lost Patience With India?

Russian attempts to punish perceived Indian transgressions could have serious impact on their relationship.

First, on February 17, a rebel leader from Balochistan province in Pakistan, who had been residing in exile in Moscow for the last 18 years, switched sides. Dr. Jumma Marri Baloch has long been one of the major leaders of the movement in the western province of Balochistan to free itself from Pakistan. He reportedly designed the flag of the “free Balochistan” separatist movement. In his reconciliation interview with a Russian media outlet, Marri blamed India for hijacking the indigenous Baloch revolt. As the drama unfolded in Moscow, one may wonder whether it was a not so subtle a message to Delhi about Russian ability to embarrass India if such a need arises.

The government of India is hard-pressed to cater to Russian interests. The armed forces, particularly the Air Force, have been seeking to diversify their base by procuring Western weaponry. The intelligentsia, though, is tired of expensive imports and is keen on spinning up indigenous development. To add to New Delhi’s woes, Western officials are now also pressuring their Indian counterparts for lucrative armament contracts. The election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency and his push toward selling American products abroad is unlikely to ease this pressure.
:
Much to the surprise and anger of Moscow, the IAF has asked for a classified briefing on the F-35 from Lockheed Martin. If India does not have funds to spare for the Russian planes, how can it possibly muster funds for the F-35? This is the question that is being asked. The Indian pilots, meanwhile, want to know why they should pay for a plane that the Russian air force itself is unwilling to fly.

In order to convince the Indians about the viability of the program, the Russian Defense Ministry ordered 12 planes on February 8. It has also deployed them in Syria to counter the media narrative against the fighters. The advanced planes are not needed in the Syrian conflict, where the Russian air force’s primary role is to bomb insurgents, but Moscow has taken a leaf out of the book of Western players. Both Rafale and Eurofighter have been used in Syria and Libya despite not being needed in the primarily uncontested bombing roles. But IAF has remained distant to the planes, claiming them to be too similar to the Sukhoi 30, which India already has in its arsenal.

Russia has threatened to go ahead with another partner for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft if India is unable to make up its mind on the long-delayed project. The invitation to the Pakistani foreign minister seems to have flown after the leaking of IAF’s desire to have a look at the F-35.
:
In geostrategic terms, an India-Russia split would harden the periphery versus core competition that is taking shape. Trump’s pressure on Pakistan at a time Russia is inviting it in with open arms could also lead to a change in its outlook. While India would be locked out of Central Asia, Russia would also end up becoming even more dependent on China. It is tough to say which state may end up with the worse of the bargain.
Looks like an ISPR/ISI sponsored article. 'Diplomat' has become a favorate place for them. If Russians want to send a message it would be loud and clear not some sold out Balochi.

IAF chief clearly said there is no F-35 and still using it to create a story. If there is anyone who has a clear idea about PAKFA after Russians that's IAF officers. So, no need to lecture us on that front.
 

Ironhide

Active member
Dec 6, 2017
146
201
India
Looks like an ISPR/ISI sponsored article. 'Diplomat' has become a favorate place for them. If Russians want to send a message it would be loud and clear not some sold out Balochi.

IAF chief clearly said there is no F-35 and still using it to create a story. If there is anyone who has a clear idea about PAKFA after Russians that's IAF officers. So, no need to lecture us on that front.

Yup, I have seen that Diplomat always tries to downplay and downgrade India-Russia relations and also gives typical BBC news like portrayal of India.
 

Pankaj

IAF Fan
Dec 3, 2017
213
90
New Delhi
India aims to conclude S-400 deal with Russia during Nirmala Sitharaman’s Moscow visit


India aims to conclude S-400 deal with Russia during Nirmala Sitharaman’s Moscow visit

China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014 to procure the lethal missile system and Moscow has already started delivery of unknown number of the S-400 missile systems to China.

A nearly Rs 40,000 crore deal to procure S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems from Russia is yet to be concluded mainly due to differences over price which India would look to sort out during Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s upcoming visit to Moscow, official sources said. (Reuters)

A nearly Rs 40,000 crore deal to procure S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems from Russia is yet to be concluded mainly due to differences over price which India would look to sort out during Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s upcoming visit to Moscow, official sources said. India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly when China has been ramping up its military manoeuvring along the nearly 4,000 km Sino-India border. In 2016, India and Russia had signed an agreement on ‘Triumf’ interceptor-based missile system which can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km. S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system. China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014 to procure the lethal missile system and Moscow has already started delivery of unknown number of the S-400 missile systems to China.

The sources said Sitharaman will travel to Moscow within the next six weeks and she may push for sealing the long-pending deal at the earliest. “Sealing the S-400 deal will be a major focus of Sitharaman’s visit to Russia,” said a source familiar with the deal, which would be one of biggest with Russia in recent years. Negotiators from both countries have been in talks for over one and half years for the purchase of at least five systems of S-400 which are capable of firing three types of missiles, creating a layered defence. The S-400 is an upgraded version of the S-300 systems. The missile system is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and has been in service in Russia since 2007.

The sources also said that no decision could be taken on the long-pending fifth-generation fighter jet project with Russia due to the high cost involved in it. A high-level committee set up by the government to examine various aspects of the project had submitted its report last year and the defence ministry is likely to take a call on it soon. In 2007, India and Russia had inked an inter-governmental pact for the FGFA project. In December 2010, India had agreed to pay USD 295 million (Rs 1,897 crore) towards the preliminary design of the fighter, which is called in India as the ‘Perspective Multi-role Fighter’. However, the negotiations faced various hurdles in the subsequent years. In February 2016, India and Russia revived talks on the project after a clearance from the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar. The issue may also figure during Sitharaman’s visit to Moscow.
 

ManavantraTruti

Well-Known member
Jan 25, 2018
515
461
Hyd
Given that the sale of S400 has not progressed and neither has the sale of Ka-226 Helicopters, is safe to assume that Russia is going to screw us like they did with INS Viki.

Its time for Plan B. And have a Plan C and Plan D in place.

This is not going to end well.
 

Butter Chicken

Senior member
Dec 2, 2017
1,218
1,164
Hina Rabbani Khar interview on Russian propaganda media RT


Now as US is rightly calling out Pakistan for its support to terrorism,it is natural that Russia feels sympathetic towards it.
 

Superkaif

Well-Known member
Dec 21, 2017
491
453
UK
Has Russia Lost Patience With India?

Although clouds have been gathering for the past few years around the relationship between Russia and India, recent events suggest that things may have come to a head sooner than expected. Russian attempts to court Pakistan, India`s hostile western neighbor, in the last two weeks support such a conclusion.

First, on February 17, a rebel leader from Balochistan province in Pakistan, who had been residing in exile in Moscow for the last 18 years, switched sides. Dr. Jumma Marri Baloch has long been one of the major leaders of the movement in the western province of Balochistan to free itself from Pakistan. He reportedly designed the flag of the “free Balochistan” separatist movement. In his reconciliation interview with a Russian media outlet, Marri blamed India for hijacking the indigenous Baloch revolt. As the drama unfolded in Moscow, one may wonder whether it was a not so subtle a message to Delhi about Russian ability to embarrass India if such a need arises.

The next week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov welcomed his Pakistani counterpart, Khawaja Asif, to Moscow for a four-day trip. Moscow stated it was ready to help Pakistan increase its anti-terror capabilities — this can be read as a euphemism for providing arms to Islamabad.

Neither of these two developments will go down well with New Delhi. Considering that the first cannot be undone, one wonders what could possibly have gone so wrong for Moscow to take such a step.

China’s rise, together with economic atrophy in Russia, has prompted a realigning of relations between Moscow and New Delhi. A weaker Russia has been cozying up to a wealthy China. In fact, after the West slapped economic sanctions on Russia, there was only one direction Moscow could go. The last of the Russia-China border disputes were resolved in 2004 and relations have been on an upswing since. While Russia has been having the best phase of its relationship with China, India has moved in the opposite direction.

Strong economic, diplomatic, and increasing military support from China to Pakistan is an irritant for India. India and China also have a long and disputed border in the Himalayas. A standoff in the border region between the two countries last summer threatened to blow into a military showdown but that disaster scenario was averted. Nevertheless, hostile rhetoric by Beijing during the dispute is seen as increasing assertiveness on the back of China’s newfound power and stature in world affairs. India is furthermore wary of Chinese moves around its neighborhood, primarily Beijing’s use of its economic heft.

Adding two and two together, New Delhi may be doubtful of Russia coming to its support in case of serious problems with its northeastern neighbor. The growing strength of China and increasing Russian reliance on Beijing means that Moscow may have neither the will nor the means to help India in the future. To break the perceived China-Pakistan encirclement of India, New Delhi has been happy to find allies elsewhere.

India has built excellent ties with Japan. Strategic convergence has also brought India closer to the United States. Recently Australia joined the three countries in a much publicized quadrilateral grouping. The objective of the so-called Quad is to cooperate in exercising and increasing influence of the four powers across Asia, from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. The developing larger geostrategic picture in Asia pits land powers, Russia and China, against maritime powers. Indian friendship with Russia was an anomaly in the slow evolution of this competition. Unfortunately for Asia, this seems to be changing now as India tilts more and more toward the U.S.-led alliance.

India and Russia, to their credit, have been trying to increase their bilateral trade for the last two decades in order to develop a more positive relationship. They have achieved only partial success. One-way movement of armaments continues to be the major component of economic activity. India is the biggest market of foreign arms in the world; Russia has traditionally been among its largest suppliers. Recently though, India has increasingly looked to the United States and Israel for weapons. A string of military contracts has gone to the two Western suppliers, disappointing Moscow.

Russia has shown a willingness to accept the changes in the rules of the game. In 2010, when then-President Dmitry Medvedev visited India, he expressed Russian willingness to compete with other suppliers in the Indian market provided the contracts were transparent and fair. But exasperation has gotten the better of Moscow at times. Senior Russian officials have also criticized Indian procurement methods and reacted to decisions with disdain.

The government of India is hard-pressed to cater to Russian interests. The armed forces, particularly the Air Force, have been seeking to diversify their base by procuring Western weaponry. The intelligentsia, though, is tired of expensive imports and is keen on spinning up indigenous development. To add to New Delhi’s woes, Western officials are now also pressuring their Indian counterparts for lucrative armament contracts. The election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency and his push toward selling American products abroad is unlikely to ease this pressure.

A new generation of leaders in India are aware of their own strengths and wish to play the game on their own terms. The fact that the booming Indian economy is already twice the size of the Russian economy is not lost on them. Moreover, the explosive expansion in private media, in the previous decades, has led to intense focus on every defense deal that the government makes.

Recently the saga of joint development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft has cropped up as a sticking point between India and Russia. After initially agreeing to jointly design and develop the futuristic aircraft, New Delhi is having second thoughts about it. The complaints range from inadequate work share to lack of technology transfer. The aircraft is said to lack stealth features while its engine may lack thrust. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has made up its mind against the project, which it deems too costly.

Much to the surprise and anger of Moscow, the IAF has asked for a classified briefing on the F-35 from Lockheed Martin. If India does not have funds to spare for the Russian planes, how can it possibly muster funds for the F-35? This is the question that is being asked. The Indian pilots, meanwhile, want to know why they should pay for a plane that the Russian air force itself is unwilling to fly.

In order to convince the Indians about the viability of the program, the Russian Defense Ministry ordered 12 planes on February 8. It has also deployed them in Syria to counter the media narrative against the fighters. The advanced planes are not needed in the Syrian conflict, where the Russian air force’s primary role is to bomb insurgents, but Moscow has taken a leaf out of the book of Western players. Both Rafale and Eurofighter have been used in Syria and Libya despite not being needed in the primarily uncontested bombing roles. But IAF has remained distant to the planes, claiming them to be too similar to the Sukhoi 30, which India already has in its arsenal.

Russia has threatened to go ahead with another partner for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft if India is unable to make up its mind on the long-delayed project. The invitation to the Pakistani foreign minister seems to have flown after the leaking of IAF’s desire to have a look at the F-35.

India has benefited immensely from Russian friendship. Strategic projects such as the BrahMos cruise missile and nuclear submarines have been a success mainly due to Russian help or partnership. A short-sighted policy could endanger Indian defense preparedness in the long run and make it dependent on the West, which might be even less inclined to share technology. On the other hand, Russian highhandedness could also push India more toward the West, with which it has greater strategic coherence now. Moscow also perhaps needs to understand the Indian government’s limitations in pushing a product to its defense forces. India has been unable to sell indigenous products to its own army or air force. In such a scenario, it is highly unlikely that it will achieve the same with Russian products.

Moreover, India continues to be a big market for Russian arms despite the occasional hiccups. New Delhi is nowhere close to attaining self-sufficiency in armament production and will continue to be dependent on foreign manufacturers for its needs for decades. According to SIPRI, Russia supplied India with 68 percent of its weapons imports, compared to 14 percent from the United States and 8 percent from Israel, between 2012 and 2016. This suggests that Russia continues to maintain its hold on the Indian arms market despite some contracts going the other way.

With China decreasing its imports of Russian arms, the loss of Indian market would hurt Russian industry even more. Even if Moscow manages to replace India with Pakistan, it is unlikely that Islamabad would buy Russian arms in the same quantity as India, owing to its much smaller economy.

In geostrategic terms, an India-Russia split would harden the periphery versus core competition that is taking shape. Trump’s pressure on Pakistan at a time Russia is inviting it in with open arms could also lead to a change in its outlook. While India would be locked out of Central Asia, Russia would also end up becoming even more dependent on China. It is tough to say which state may end up with the worse of the bargain.

Rajesh Soami is a PhD candidate in the School of International Relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

Has Russia Lost Patience With India?
 

Himanshu

Senior member
Dec 3, 2017
911
1,487
New Delhi
indopacfront.blogspot.com
OPCW vote & South Asia: Why Pakistan backed Russia but India abstained

Andrew Korybko |
Russia’s failed effort to get the OPCW to open up a joint investigation of the Skripal case importantly proved that the South Asian dynamics of the New Cold War are the polar opposite of what they were during the Old Cold War, and this correspondingly has striking implications for regional geopolitics.

The Polar Reversal At The OPCW
Russia failed earlier this week in trying to get the required two-thirds support of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to open up a joint investigation into the Skripal case, but while this was a diplomatic defeat in the context of the organization, it interestingly represented a diplomatic victory when it came to the context of New Cold War geopolitics in South Asia. India, which was the USSR’s long-term ally during the Old Cold War and proudly indoctrinated its citizens with the slogan of “Rusi-Hindi Bhai Bhai” (“Russians and Indians are brothers”) for decades, shocked Russia by abstaining from the vote, while former rival Pakistan voted in support of Moscow’s measure and confirmed that the fast-moving rapprochement between the two sides has indeed borne tangible political fruits.

The US worked for years to catalyze this grand scenario out of the expectation that it would most effectively lead to the “containment” of China, but it might ultimately come to regret what it started if Russia and Pakistan take the lead in “circling the wagons” and forming the basis for the Golden Ring multipolar Great Power partnership in Eurasia.​
Contrarily, India’s newfound approach – which was proudly described by former Foreign Secretary KanwalSibal as “the right position” because “India has played it safe” – shows just how much relations between the two Great Powers have cooled ever since New Delhi’s military-strategic pivot to Washington following the summer 2016 LEMOA deal. For all intents and purposes, the US and Russia are in the process of “swapping allies” in South Asia in the New Cold War just like they did between themselves with Ethiopia and Somalia in the Horn of Africa during the Old Cold War, and this geostrategic reversal will very likely take on military dimensions in the coming future as both “camps” reposition themselves accordingly.

Fake News And Real Sanctions
According to news reportsthat widely circulated in the Indian press over the past week,the two “brotherly” states were supposed to sign their long-awaited deal on the S-400s during Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’scurrent visit to Moscow, but thisdidn’t happen and is now supposedly delayed until October. It can’t be known for sure why the “highly informed sources” who “leaked” this presumably “classified information” turned out to be dead wrong and “inadvertently” (?) humiliated their media partners by making them the disseminators of what ended up becoming actual “fake news”, but it can’t be discounted that heavy American pressure on its new Indian proxy state might have played the chief role in why this happened.

The US is threatening to sanction any country that buys Russia’s S-400s and other military systems, and while there are now a bunch of reports alleging that India won’t succumb to this pressure and will go forward with the deal anyways, these “sources” might also turn out to be just as wrong as the ones who said that India would sign the agreement earlier this week in Moscow. America is relying on the sanction threat to coerce India to forgo other forms of military cooperation with Russia too, eagerly eying a prospective multibillion-dollar deal for providing the country’s fifth-generation warfighters that could possibly come to pass if Washington succeeds in getting New Delhi to reject whatever competitive counteroffers Moscow might make.

It should be self-evident to any objective observer that Russian-Pakistani military ties are flourishing precisely at the moment that Russian-Indian ones are at the risk of floundering, with it being possible to suggest that Moscow might be seeking to replace New Delhi with Islamabad as it “swaps allies” with Washington in South Asia.​
In light of India’s symbolic abstention from the OPCW vote, the argument can be made that it might not have the political will to risk US sanctions in the event that it did indeed purchase Russia’s S-400s if it won’t even defy its new military-strategic partner in this international forum. As the popular saying goes, “when one door closes, another opens”, and it’s with this in mind that one should approach the growing closeness in Russian-Pakistani military relations as both sides move further down the path towards a strategic partnership, especially considering what Pakistani Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan revealed during his exclusive interview to Sputnik.

The Sputnik Exclusive
Because of the profound importance of what he said, his relevant comments are republished below:

“Air defense system is a different kind of weapon we are interested. We are very much interested in a very wide range of the Russian weapons technology. We are in negotiations [on air defense systems] and once we conclude negotiations, we will be able to announce them.

  • Concerning fighter aircraft Su-35: may be in the next few years we will be able to reach that point, we are in the beginning of negotiations now.
  • We are interested in tanks T-90 and it is not going to be a one-time purchase but it is going to be a long-term commitment.
  • In the defense field, we signed a historical unprecedented Pakistan-Russia defense agreement in 2014. As a result, we have been able to conduct joint exercises, Pakistan has purchased Russian helicopters Mi-35 and now we are looking at much wider range of defense cooperation. In terms of training, Pakistani officers are coming to Russia and Russian officers are going to the Pakistani facilities for training. We are also now discussing a wider range of military exercises, we are looking at a wider range of military equipment and intelligence sharing.
  • We are looking towards a great future in certain areas, in which Russia has excellent expertise, such as the tanks and air defense systems.
  • Of course we have a history of Afghan war in which we have been on the opposite sides but now as a second decade of the 21st century ends, we will be able to look at world realities with a different eye and I am delighted to say that Pakistan and Russia are largely in agreement on major international issues like Afghanistan, like fighting drug trafficking, situation in the Middle East. We are now looking now at almost all aspects of defense and there is excellent goodwill between our leadership.”
Military Diplomacy” And “Balancing
Beyond any doubt, it should be self-evident to any objective observer that Russian-Pakistani military ties are flourishing precisely at the moment that Russian-Indian ones are at the risk of floundering, with it being possible to suggest that Moscow might be seeking to replace New Delhi with Islamabad as it “swaps allies” with Washington in South Asia. It should be said, however, that Russia wasn’t the initiator of this game-changing regional dynamic, but that everything was set into motion by the US after it succeeded in wooing India to its side as Washington’s intended Asian Great Power “counterweight” to China, and that Moscow sincerely hopes to retain and even expand its historical military relationship with New Delhi.

There’s no contradiction either between theoretically supplying arms to regional rivals India and Pakistan because this actually embodies the very essence of Russia’s “military diplomacy”, which can be simplified as its efforts to maintain a peaceful “balance of power” between competing sides in any given conflict in order to neutralize Washington’s plans for tipping the scales in favor of its preferred partner. After all, Russia’s envisioned geostrategic role in the 21st century is to become the supreme “balancing” force in the Eurasian supercontinent, so there’s a guiding logic behind Moscow wanting to deepen its influence in South Asia by actively upholding the military parity between New Delhi and Islamabad.

Should this peacemaking policy fail, then Russia hopes to eventually (key word) replace India with Pakistan as its main partner, though with the crucial caveat being that this would indeed be a prolonged process because neither of these armed forces can immediately switch between using Russian and American weapons even if they wanted to because such transitions take a lot of time. In addition, India is looking for what it believes can be a “publicly plausible” “face-saving” “excuse” for speeding up its unprecedented military-strategic partnership with the US and rapidly disengaging from its erstwhile dependency in this regard on Russia, to which end its Mainstream Media and BJP-linked trolls will probably exploit the narrative that Moscow has “betrayed” them by selling arms to Islamabad.

In light of India’s symbolic abstention from the OPCW vote, the argument can be made that it might not have the political will to risk US sanctions in the event that it did indeed purchase Russia’s S-400s if it won’t even defy its new military-strategic partner in this international forum.​
There’s absolutely no truth to this Bollywood-like fiction but that doesn’t matter to the masses that could be targeted by this potential psy-op, just like it’s not important that the Skripal scandal is really just a chemical weapons false flag, because both weaponized Hybrid War narratives are designed to serve as clumsily constructed pretexts and nothing more. Russia’s expanding multidimensional partnership with Pakistan isn’t aimed at any third party but is predicated on preserving regional peace and assisting South Asia’s incorporation into the emerging Multipolar World Order, whereas India’s so-called “multi-alignment” strategy is really just an insincere euphemism for disguising its pro-American pivot.

Pakistani Defense Minister Dastgir’s interview can be interpreted as hinting (key word) that talks might be underway over the sale of Russia’s S-400s to his country, which might be all that India needs to go forward with its preplanned infowar operation against Russia in “justifying” its reticence to cut more big-ticket military deals without admitting that it pivoted to the US and is afraid of American sanctions. Pakistan certainly isn’t fearful of the US and proved as much by voting with Russia in the OPCW, but India definitely is and that’s why it didn’t dare to openly defy America, hence its timid response in abstaining and de-facto contributing to the failure of Russia’s diplomatic effort despite Moscow’s general rhetoric to the contrary.

Concluding Thoughts
The OPCW episode therefore confirmed that the New Cold War geopolitics of South Asia are the total opposite of what they were in the Old Cold War, and it hints that far-reaching changes might yet be in store for the region if India submits to the US’ sanctions pressure by forgoing its planned S-400 deal with Russia. In response to India making any unfriendly American-influenced moves against Russia that signify its leadership’s lack of interest in Moscow’s multipolar “balancing” strategy, Russia is likely to accelerate its already rapid full-spectrum rapprochement with Pakistan and pay particular attention to enhancing military ties with it.

This in turn would probably set off a new phase of the long-standing “security dilemma” in South Asia as the region’s two most powerful and nuclear-armed states signal that they’ve both made the decision to “switch sides” vis-à-vis the US and Russia, thereby setting into motion an extended process that might eventually prove to be irreversible after having passed this significant threshold. The US worked for years to catalyze this grand scenario out of the expectation that it would most effectively lead to the “containment” of China, but it might ultimately come to regret what it started if Russia and Pakistan take the lead in “circling the wagons” and forming the basis for the Golden Ring multipolar Great Power partnership in Eurasia.