Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

India and Russian Federation to sign over $7 billion defence deals

India and Russian Federation to sign over $7 billion defence deals

India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly along the almost 4,000-km-long India-China border.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Sochi for an informal summit with the Russian President earlier this year where he tried to reaffirm New Delhi's commitment to galvanise one of India's oldest strategic partnerships.

Saying the deal is at a "stage where it can be finalized", Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pointed out last week that, "We have a big legacy of buying defense equipment from Russian Federation".

The S-400 system, which is effective against aircraft as well as ballistic and cruise missiles, has a maximum range of 250 miles.

Just last month Washington slapped tough "secondary sanctions" on China for purchasing Russian S-400 air defense systems and fighter planes.

"The key feature of this visit will be the signing of the agreement to deliver S-400 air-defense systems". The US only last week slapped sanctions on China for buying the same S-400s.

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But ties received a boost a year ago when Modi and Putin held a fruitful annual bilateral summit, followed by meetings in Astana and at the G20 in Germany.

Asked about whether Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia would raise production to ease concerns about supply and cool oil prices, Novak said that Russian Federation has already reversed all 300,000 bpd of the cuts it had pledged in the OPEC+ deal and added another 100,000-bpd production in September.

"Russia is seen as a reliable standby partner for India, one that has a solid track record with us", says Vinay Shukla, Russia editor for India Strategic, a New Delhi-based monthly defense journal. Moscow is now expanding India's biggest nuclear power plant in Kudankulam. Besides the fund crunch, money transfer to Russian military entities sanctioned by the United States is a challenge to India.

Moreover, the Pentagon has warned India that the purchase would violate US sanctions against Russia's military that went into effect this year. As of October 1, however, the Indian government has not publicly confirmed that the CCS approved the $5.5 billion acquisition. This annual summitry is unique as Russian Federation is one of only two countries, the other one being Japan, with which India holds this summit.

On the strategic front, Russian Federation helped India become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation this year and has backed New Delhi's long-held demand for a permanent UN Security Council seat.

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