India & Russia: Can past warmth return?

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by pyromaniac, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Along with diehard members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), policymakers in India mourned the 1992 demise of the USSR. Moscow had been an ally of Delhi since the early 1960s, ensuring through its veto that the US, the UK and China could not use the UN Security Council to embarrass India on Kashmir. The Indian military was heavily reliant on Soviet supplies, especially for the air force, while steel plants,machine tool works and numerous other projects came up in India because of technical and financial help from the Soviet Union. In 1971,when US President Richard Nixon (an India-hater with India-baiter Henry Kissinger by his elbow) sent the nuclear-equipped Seventh Fleet to the Bay of Bengal in an attempt to scare India away from ensuring success to the Mukti Bahini in what is now Bangla Desh, Premier Alexei Kosygin ordered the Soviet Sixth Fleet into the same waters,in the process turning into jelly Nixon’s resolve to protect the unity of Pakistan,the country that was the facilitator in Washington’s opening to China

    India’s Soviet tilt was the responsibility less of itself than of the Western powers. The US relied on the UK to decipher India, and London was still in the Churchillian afterglow of backing the “courageous Moslems” against the “shifty Hindoos”. It was no secret that the UK wanted Pakistan as a counterweight to an “unreliable” India, and as a bridge to the immense Muslim-majority lands to Pakistan’s west. Hence,beginning in the 1950s, the UK (and its faithful follower the US) applied incessant pressure on India to surrender the Muslim-majority state of Kashmir to Pakistan. In 1962,after the debacle caused by the Chinese advance into India’s north-east, Delhi was willing to become an ally of the US, at a time when ties with Moscow were still tentative. The initiative was killed by the crude badgering of the UK’s Duncan Sandys and his American emulators . “Give up Kashmir or else” was the message from Sandys,who -poor man - had clearly not been told that India had become an independent country in 1947. India chose the “Or else”. Again,with the collapse of the USSR, Delhi looked towards Washington to replace Moscow as an ally. The Clinton White House acted the way Sandys had three decades earlier,by demanding concessions on Kashmir that would in effect have extinguished Indian control over the state. Not surprisingly,the pressure was rebuffed. It took a decade more,and a new US President (George W Bush) before the US finally woke up to India’s potential and dealt with it as the ally of choice in the region

    And what of the former ally,Moscow? As usual,the establishment in Delhi was taken unawares by events. Indeed,India was the only country in the world to officially welcome the 1991 coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, an action that did not endear Delhi to either Gorbachev or his successor Boris Yeltsin. As a consequence of India’s stubbornly pro-CPSU line, relations between itself and Russia under Boris Yeltsin were cool. Moscow was charmed by the West,and disillusionment had not yet set in. Hence, military supplies became expensive and irregular, and joint projects fell to near-zero levels.This despite India being the only country in the world that committed to repaying Moscow in old roubles,rather than the worthless currency the once-respected medium of exchange had become. The cost to an impoverished India of this generous gesture (masterminded by no less a personage than Manmohan Singh,then Union Finance Minister) was in excess of US$ 12 billion,but it was judged worthwhile in order to keep the relationship strong.and ensure steady supplies of military equipment, propositions that subsequently turned out to be inaccurate. Under Yeltsin, ties soured,even while the Clinton White House ignored the prospect of India as an ally. Indeed,those days,the US State and Commerce Departments used to warn businesspersons against investing in India,which - they claimed - was “one of the most dangerous places on earth”

    It was only after the former KGB took control of Russia in 1999 from the numerous mafias backed by Yeltsin that relations with India began to warm up. Vladimir Putin,the new boss, was,unlike his predecessor, no admirer of the West. He saw his objective as being the re-emergence of Russia as a superpower, balancing the West rather than serving as an auxiliary to it. Looking at the map of Asia,Putin accepted the view of his former KGB colleagues that it would be in Moscow’s interest to renew the now lapsed alliance with India. Once again,from around 2003, military supplies began to flow into India on huge transport aircraft,and the quality of the equipment supplied rose considerably (along with the price tag). However, the desperate need of Russia for cash has meant that a substantial amount of price gouging has taken place,especially with the “Gorshkov”. This 31-year old aircraft carrier was given “ for free” by Russia to India in 2004. Since then, Moscow has added nearly US$ 3 billion to the price tag,thus draining the Indian Navy of the funds needed for several other fleet expansion plans. Even should the ship (now renamed “Vikramaditya”) ever get inducted into the Indian naval fleet,the costs of operation and maintenance would be huge. Of course,a few individuals would have got immense personal benefit from the deal,which is presumably the reason why the Defense Ministry is so eager for the deal to be clinched,even on the extortionate terms asked for by the Russians The high price of Russian hardware is the reason why India is now turning to the US as an alternative supplier. Once the relationship between India and the US develops, several naval vessels now in the service of the US Navy can be handed over to India, where they can be re-equipped and sent on missions such as anti-piracy patrols. Given the problems that have afflicted the Russia-India military supply relationship since 1992, it is reasonable to forecast that the coming few years will see the US supplanting Russia as India’s biggest defense supplier. Of course,Moscow will still be assured of huge profits from India,for items such as nuclear reactors. Also,Russia has an even richer customer than India, and this is China. Even as India and the US are moving closer, so are China and Russia.Today,several laboratories in Russia survive because of Chinese support, and especially since Hu Jintao took over in 2002 as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from the West-leaning Jiang Zemin, the strategic relationship between China and Russia has become much stronger than the old relationship between India and the USSR. Very clearly, a bipolar world order is emerging, with the US and China as the two poles.

    Although it claims to be be non-aligned,the reality is that India is Washington’s to lose. Unless the Clinton cohort in the Obama administration once again scares away Delhi by harping on matters such as signing on to the NPT or making concessions in Kashmir, the coming years will witness the steady expansion of ties between the world’s most powerful country and the world’s most populous democracy

    Que sera sera. Although India and Russia are once again good friends, they are unlikely to be allies once more, given the close ties of the former with the US. Of course,if the US makes a series of mistakes that have the effect of driving India away from its embrace ( not a bad result,in the eyes of many), then there is the prospect of another alliance taking shape: India,China and Russia.In today’s world,where money talks, the rapid growth of India will,it is hoped,assure Delhi the place at the top table that it has been denied for so long.In a caste-oriented society such as India, this counts.


    Pakistan Observer - Newspaper online edition - Article

    A very fascinating read
     
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  3. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    May God bless Russia, Russia is a friend and will always be friend. Pakistanis have pain from indo Russia friendship. They will always come with many articles, in intervals to create sense of vulnerability between our friendship. Better they should write articles about their friend USA and china; those who are/have used Pakistan as proxy for their own interest.
    Indians know how to maintain self respect and guard their own interests irrespective of any relation with any nation. Our friends knows what we are up to.
    Money always talk; specially in global recession when most of the nations are in hypersensitive sate of mind and are giving second thought to all past bilateral equations to stay afloat. In politics no nation is permanent friend or foe. We have learnt this lesson by virtue of our patience and Pakistan has paid great price and its sovereignty for the same.
     
  4. Dark Sorrow

    Dark Sorrow Respected Member Senior Member

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    Hit&Run,
    In international politics there are no friend and no enemies their is only our strategic intrest. Those who serve our strategic intrest are our friends and those against our strategic intrest are our enemies.
    The only reason USSR suported us in 71 because breaking pakistan would serve their intrest also.
    The reason US is coming close to us because we are a perfect counter-balance to China-Russia axis.
     
  5. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    A dumb article. India will have to balance relations between both countries. We are not like the other countries. We don't make friends of one and become a de facto enemy of the other.

    The Pakistanis are always waiting for the opportunity to blast any Indo-Russia relationship over some mere technicalities.

    Funny how the author only talks about the Gorshkov deal and a failing India-Russia relationship based on the Gorshkov when we have other big time security deals like Sakhalin islands, nuclear deal. And also other military deals like Akulas, PAKFA and GLONASS which completely dwarfs the Gorshkov in technology and also Geopolitics.

    Send the article into the Thrash can.
     
  6. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Oh! And the Pakistani authors always place China on a pedestal for worship. Don't forget that.
     
  7. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Non Aligned was a nice term coined back then for such a thing.
     
  8. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    this article might have appeared on a pakistani publication but the author is an indian, more about Mr Madhav Das Nalapat Madhav Das Nalapat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . more than this article appearing on a pakistani publication or the credentials about the author, we should discuss about the content in the article if it is worth discussing.
     
  9. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Oh! I never checked the link. My bad. IMO, the article is of poor quality which only shows one side of the story. The Gorshkov deal was messed up by the shipyard authorities. It's not like the govt jumped in to hustle India. The Russian govt is trying to salvage the deal.
     
  10. zraver

    zraver Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Do you really think that? I think India is paying the bill and the Russian navy will get the ship. Lets look at the total of armaments since the USSR fell.

    On the plus side

    SU-30MKI

    Krasnopol self guiding rocket rounds

    BM-30 Smerch

    T-90S

    T-90M

    ToT deals related to the above

    Akula II subs

    Pak-FA

    GLONASS

    Down side


    Krasnopol rounds self-guided itself into misses in combat during Kargil.

    T-90S couldn't hit the broad side of a barn using Indian Ammo and Russia refused to help fix the problem. Also related to the T-90S- massively delayed ToT, quality control issues in the knock down kits and other problems.

    T-90M- denied some of the latest Russian gear and forced to use western or domestic gear at increased cost, reduced ToT.

    Persistent Rumors Russian money is behind the delays in the Arjun, thus increasing not decreasing Indian reliance on imported weapons.

    The Gorshkov fiasco.

    Russia selling China advanced SAM,s AShM, fighters, torpedoes, sea mines, subs and other military gear that has a direct bearing on Indian security.

    Russian OK'ing the sale of jet engines for use in the JF-17/FC-20 fighter

    PAK-FA even the single seat version has yet to be seen.

    Now, India's two biggest security concerns are Pakistan and China. If Post-Soviet Russia was a friend- never mind the business and quality problems- would she be arming India's enemies?
     
  11. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    So there were a few problems with Russian sourced ammo. India did still win the war, didn't she? Which armament export is 100% perfect?

    What's the alternative? Buy the Arjun which has worse problems? Or the Abrams which would require a rehaul of the entire doctrine and infrastructure of the Indian Army?

    Again, compared to the alternatives, it was by far the best. Western countries don't transfer technology period. Russia always provides ToT, along with almost zero restrictions on domestic production licenses, no intrusive End User Agreements to sign, no tying of high tech exports issues to other completely unrelated political issues and did I mention that Russian armaments provide the best price/performance ratio?

    Ah yes, as if our other alternatives are any better. As long as there are crooks in the Indian Parliament and the culture of nepotism and bribery is the accepted norm, there's no point in blaming others for making use of that culture for their own benefit. Israel does the same, France has been accused of doing the same, and given the chance, I don't see why the US would be any different.

    One bad deal in a 4 decade old relationship. I'd call that record pretty good. Unlike when India sourced armaments from the US only to have them lying unused during a war for lack of spare parts because the US found that the best time to apply sanctions against India.

    Russian arms exports to China have a much smaller bearing on India's security than US arms sales to Pakistan. The chance of an open conflict with the former is tiny, while that with the latter is quite high.

    Patience please. The first flight I believe is later this year.

    :rofl:

    If Russia wanted to arm Pakistan, she would have already done so. Letting a few jet engines slip through because of their relationship with China is worse than supplying Pak with F-16s, advanced helicopters, night vision equipment, BVR missiles etc etc over 6 decades?

    Biggest joke I've ever heard. :rofl:
     
  12. zraver

    zraver Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    it was a list of the pros and cons. However, those rounds were not bought to bombard mountain tops, but savage Pakistani armor. its a good thing India did not need them for the purpose for which they were bought.

    The Arjun does not have worse problems.



    Wrong, look for example at the F-16 and who makes it.


    How many domestically produced T-90's exist in the Indian army? We both know the answer is zero. Russia still has not completed the ToT.

    Nor do Russian armaments provide the best bang for the buck. Iraq should have taught you that lesson.



    The US has very harsh laws against it. However, rather than get side tracked- Russia is spending money risking India's security in order to make sure India buys Russian.

    You missed the rest of the list.

    source please

    China is Pakistan's biggest arms provided by far. The two sided nuclear and ballistic missile threat India faces- China and a Pakistani nuclear and missile program started by China. The A-100MLRS that could ruin any Indian attack into Pakistan, or open the way for a Pakistani attack- China. The tank's India has to face- China not to mention hundreds of other systems.

    We've been hearign that line for years now.

    Russia's relationship with China, trumps Russian relationships with India. China is Pakistan's biggest arms provided in every area. Pakistan is a Chinese client state and serves the PRC's interests no one elses. That the Sino-Pak military is as good as it is owes almost entirely to Russian equipment and technology.
     
  13. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    All things said and done, I trust the Indian Army and the government to make the right decision by taking all factors into consideration. I don't think one can become more knowledgeable about a particular piece of military hardware by researching it on the internet than someone who has to use thousands of them for their country's defence.

    If the Arjun has been overruled for the time being in favour of the T-90s, there could be a good reason for it.

    I think you will agree that there is a difference between licensed assembly and production with full ToT.

    Yea, because the current order has not been completed yet. India is still sending T-90s back to Russia for upgradation.

    The Pak AF does not have the ability to do to Indian armour what the USAF did to Iraqi armour.

    All countries are doing it. South Africa, Italy, Israel, France....if Russia doesn't, then corrupt bureaucrats will award the lucrative arms deals to other countries.

    Indian Navy to restore Sea King choppers,Security Issues, News Analysis, India News Online

    Guess what happened between 1998 and 2003? The 1999 Kargil War. And the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament by LeT.

    Going back further still, sanctions were placed against India during the 1965 Indo-Pak war even though it was Pak that invaded Indian territory.

    Yep. And that's the reason why we view China with suspicion. US is Pak's second largest arms supplier.

    China has pirated most Russian arms and sold the copies to Pakistan. Blaming Russia for that would be like blaming a shop that sells music CDs because one of its customers pirated the CDs and distributed them to the general public.

    The problem is with those who directly supply arms to Pak, like China and US, not Russia.
     
  14. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Russian Navy will get the ship only if Indian Navy rejects it. it's been made clear by Medvedev and the Gorshkov is pretty high on their priority list.

    T-90s is scheduled for production only after 2010. So, there is still time for ToT.

    It is considered world over that Western Gear is better than Russian gear including electronics. Also, IA wants Indian electronics which is being developed by BEL instead of imported electronics.Communication, APS etc will be Indian made.

    No one to blame but ourselves.

    US selling the same to Pakistan. The French sell to Pakistanis and sooner or later the Germans too.

    This is the world of business.

    Before the break up, Soviets were selling to China and India. After the breakup, Russia is selling to China and India.


    These are just the military examples. But, what about diplomacy. The only major hurdle for India getting into the UNSC is not China or Russia but the US. China will have to support India's membership if US supports it, and that is not coming.

    After Pokhran I, India was placed under sanctions and were cut off from Uranium supplies. It was Russia which sent Uranium to prevent closure of more than 4 plants. Russia is the only country which can provide us with Nuclear submarines, 5th generation aircraft and very accurate GPS. No one else will give us such technology.
     

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