Ahead of the annual India-Russia summit later this year, several high level exchanges are scheduled between the officials of both sides. This year the annual summit scheduled for October will take place in India when Russian President Vladimir Putin will come accompanied by a high-level delegation. The focus of talks have been on the regional and international issues; also on enhancing the military cooperation as well as expediting the delivery of some platforms India has ordered.
According to the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Anurag Srivastava, “The foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and the Deputy Russian foreign minister had a talk recently. The talks were related to the recent exchanges between the top leaders of the two countries.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Putin both had spoken on July 12. Modi had congratulated the Russian leader on his successful national vote on constitutional amendments in Russia.
As has been reported earlier, an Indian Military Contingent had gone to Moscow to participate in the 75the anniversary of the victory in the 2nd world war and the defence minister Rajnath Singh had also gone there in the last week of June.
“Yesterday when foreign secretary (Harsh Vardhan Shringla) and the (Russian) deputy foreign minister spoke, they took stock of all these recent exchanges and the idea is to keep the momentum of these regular exchanges going on because due to the COVID situation, we have not been able to have visits,” he said.
More meetings coming up
Besides the India-Russia Annual Summit later this year, there will be other two major meetings including the SCO and the BRICS and the NSAs’ meetings. Also, the defence ministers of the two countries are expected to meet soon. The dates have not been firmed up.
Due to the global lockdown because of COVD-19 pandemic, both the SCO and BRICS Foreign Ministers meetings had to be postponed. No date has been decided for the meetings to happen.
India-Russia Military Co-operation
Both India and Russia are keen to further intensify their military relations by implementing contracts worth almost $ 15 billion, and also ink an Inter-Governmental Agreement under which the two sides are expected to go in for development and production of military platforms, spare parts as well, jointly.
Both sides are keen on developing military cooperation, as well as fighting counter terrorism bilaterally.
As has announced last year after the annual summit, both countries have extended the agreement for mutual military and technical cooperation. This has been extended by almost 10 years and will now expire in 2030.
Almost 60 per cent of the platforms and weapons the Indian armed forces is using is from Russia. And the two countries decided to ensure there is no delay in the spare parts and there are plans to make them in India with the help of Russia.
What is India getting from Russia?
The two sides have a contract in place for the S-400 Triumf ‘SA-21 Growler’ long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems. Under the deal which is worth approximately $5.43 billion, Russia will supply five Triumf regimental kits to India for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Also, there is the upgraded Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29UPG ‘Fulcrum-E’ fighter aircraft for various programmes.
There is joint venture between the two sides to manufacture Kamov Ka-226T ‘Hoodlum’ light utility helicopters. And once it takes off around 140 helicopters are expected to be produced locally. And they will be the main light utility helicopters for the Indian Armed Forces.
Also, the Indian Navy will be receiving four Project 11356 Grigorovich-class frigates. Two out of the four are under construction at the Yantar Shipyard (a subsidiary of the United Shipbuilding Corporation). And as per the contract two will be constructed at the Goa Shipyard Limited, India.
BrahMos Aerospace is already delivering ground- and sea-launched cruise missiles to both the Indian Army and the Navy. The joint venture with has already successfully developed and tested the air-launched variant of the weapon.
Almost 1,000 of T-90S Bhishma Main Battle Tanks, which have been made in India with the Russian Transfer of Technology are being used by the Indian Army. The production of the 3VBM42 Mango 125 mm armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds to be used is going on under license.
Both countries are in talks for the anti-tank capabilities to protect the troops.
The Konkurs-M ‘AT-5b Spandrel’ anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), is being produced under license by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
Joint Venture to manufacture AK-203 7.62 mm Assault Rifles for the Indian Armed Forces.
Under this venture Kalashnikov AK-203 7.62 mm Assault Rifles 200 series will be manufactured which will fulfil Indian security agencies’ requirement for small arms.
Highly placed sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online “Later this week, there is an Inter Governmental agreement between the two countries related to the manufacturing of the world famous Kalashnikov assault rifles of the newest 200 series. There were issues related to the pricing of these rifles and the full local production. Those issues have been resolved and most liked there is a certain number of assault rifles which will come from Russia. And the balance will be produced here.”
“There is an IGA in place already, but there were some issues, that have now been sorted out,” said the source quoted above.