Putin in India to push for arms deals

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by LETHALFORCE, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Putin to push for arms deals in India

    Russian President Vladimir Putin travels to India Monday on an official visit expected to focus on gaining contracts for Russia's arms manufacturers and boosting ties with one of Moscow's oldest allies.

    Putin flies to New Delhi early Monday to hold one-on-one talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and broader delegation talks, followed by a signing of documents, the Russian embassy in New Delhi said.

    He will also meet the ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and Sushma Swaraj, the leader of BJP opposition party.

    The Kremlin said this week that Putin will discuss "concrete steps to further develop strategic partnership" in trade, investment, military and energy policy.

    The trip will be Putin's first to South Asia since his return to the Kremlin in May. Dmitry Medvedev met with Prime Minister Singh in New Delhi in late March, shortly before stepping down from his presidency.

    Putin last travelled to India in 2010, when he was prime minister.

    India is one of Russia's key partners, which Putin often praises for sharing Moscow's geopolitical vision of a multipolar world.

    Putin will be eager to show Russia's ally, now the world's largest arms importer, that it is a key and desirable partner, said Fyodor Lukyanov, who chairs the Russian council on foreign and defence policy, an independent organisation.

    "The point of the visit is to sustain the exclusive status of these relations," said Lukyanov. "The relationship with India is very broad, but it is not developing very well," he said.

    India is still Russia's number one arms importer, and Russian-made military equipment accounts for 70 percent of Indian arms supplies.

    But while Moscow once had a virtual monopoly over India's arms market, the situation is now changing because New Delhi has started shopping around, Lukyanov said.

    "India made a real breakthrough (during the 1990s), one that Russia has slept through," he said.

    "Putin is trying to compensate for that, but you cannot take back what is lost."

    India is still buying Russian weapons "because it is preparing for a regional conflict, and Russian equipment satisfies its needs, since it's better than that of the adversary," said Alexander Golts, an independent analyst.

    But Moscow has been worried recently by New Delhi's increasing preference for Western suppliers, especially after Boeing was chosen last month over Russia's MiL plant for a major helicopter contract.

    India has also been unhappy with delays of deliveries of some naval equipment, notably of the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which is being refurbished for the Indian Navy at Russia's Sevmash naval yard.

    Russia was originally to deliver the upgraded vessel in August 2008, but the date has now been pushed back to the end of 2013, while the price has more than doubled from $978 million to $2.3 billion.

    That contract is likely to come up in the course of Putin's visit, said Igor Korotchenko, director of the Centre for Analysis of World Arms Trade.

    "One of the visit's goals is to agree that the project will be finished next year," he said. "It's a difficult project."

    Many potential deals involve Russia's Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer, including a $3.77 billion deal for 42 Su-30MKI fighters, a $1 billion refurbishment deal for older Su-30MKIs already used by India's airforce, and a deal to produce the fifth generation Sukhoi fighter, a joint Russia-India project, he added.

    Russia's Kazan Helicopter Plant has this week delivered to India a shipment of Mi-17 helicopters as part of a contract for 80 that India signed in 2008, Russian Helicopters said Thursday. The remainder of the contract will be delivered in 2013, it said.

    "India is still Russia's number one military buyer," Korotchenko said. "We plan to keep that position."
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Putin Said to Seal $7 Billion Russian Arms Deal in India - Bloomberg

    Putin Said to Seal $7 Billion Russian Arms Deal in India

    Russian President Vladimir Putin may announce about $7 billion of weapons contracts, including for Sukhoi fighter jets, when he visits India next week, according to three people in the defense industry.

    During Putin’s visit on Dec. 24, the two countries will announce contracts for 42 Sukhoi Su-30MKI jets, made by United Aircraft’s Irkut Corp., and almost 1,000 AL-31 warplane engines to be delivered through 2030, according to the three people who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, declined to comment.

    India, Russia’s top arms customer, has at least doubled its defense budget over the last decade as it looks beyond a traditional rivalry with Pakistan to counter China’s rising power. Putin, who returned to the presidency this year, has spearheaded Russia’s efforts to fend off competition for the contracts from the U.S. and Europe.

    “These will be truly historical deals if signed,” Konstantin Makiyenko, the deputy head of the Moscow-based Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, said by phone yesterday. “I don’t remember a contract for 1,000 engines at all and deals for over 40 planes happen twice in a decade.”

    Syed Akbaruddin, a spokesman at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, wasn’t available to comment. Vyacheslav Davidenko, a spokesman for Russia’s state-owned weapons exporter Rosoboronexport, declined to comment.

    Russia’s arms trade with India “will develop more actively” after the visit, Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s foreign-policy aide, said today in an interview. He declined to comment on specific deals.

    Russian defense-industry exports have exceeded $14 billion billion this year, higher than the government’s target, Putin said yesterday. The country has signed new contracts worth $15 billion in 2012, he added.

    Then-Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Oct. 10 that Russia expected to sign a deal to ship 42 Sukhoi jets to India by the end of the year, RIA Novosti news service reported.

    India has already received about 150 Russian jets, according to CAST estimates.
     
  4. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Vladimir Putin reaches India, eyes arms sales, trade and political ties

    Moscow: Arms sales will be on the agenda as Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in India on Monday to court a country that has traditionally been a top client.
    Putin's trip, his first to India since he started a new Kremlin six-year term in May, is a chance to reaffirm Russia's interest in India, long a regional ally and now a partner in the BRICS group of emerging market nations.

    In an article for publication in the The Hindu on Monday, Putin stressed that "deepening friendship and cooperation with India is among the top priorities of our foreign policy".

    "India and Russia show an example of responsible leadership and collective actions in the international arena," he wrote, a veiled swipe at the West and in particular the United States, whom Putin accuses of seeking to impose its will on the world.
    Russian defence industry sources said the visit could produce deals on the sale of fighter jets and aircraft engines worth more than $7.5 billion. One said that could include the sale of 42 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters and a deal on the long-term supply of 970 warplane engines.

    The Kremlin said it expected the signing of "a number of large contracts in the area of military-technical cooperation", a term referring to weapons sales, licensing and servicing.

    However, warm ties dating back to the Soviet era have been complicated by recent Russian efforts to improve relations with Pakistan, one of Moscow's proxy enemies during the Soviet Union's war of occupation in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

    Relations between the world's second biggest arms exporter Russia and India, its largest buyer last year, have also run into sporadic problems including delays in the delivery of a reconditioned Soviet-built aircraft carrier, now expected late in 2013.

    Military might

    India plans to spend about $100 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade its largely Soviet-era military equipment, as Asia's third largest economy looks to match its economic might with military power and warily eyes assertive Asian rival China.

    Moscow has warm political ties with China, another ally in opposing US clout and a key consumer of the oil and gas that drives Russia's economy, but is thought to also be wary of a faster-growing neighbour with nearly 10 times its population.

    India relies on Russia for 60 percent of its arms purchases, but has diversified its suppliers in recent years.

    Putin announced record arms sales this year but wants to minimise the effect of the loss of deals with Libya and of uncertainty about the future of longtime client Syria on Russia's defence industry, an important source of political support for him.

    Putin, whose country took up the presidency of the G20 this month, also hopes for strong growth in overall trade with India.

    In his article, he said the volume of bilateral trade with India was expected to reach a record $10 billion this year, after declining due to the global financial crisis, and set a target of doubling that to $20 billion by 2015.

    For Putin, who will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Pranab Mukherjee and senior lawmakers, India is the most distant destination since rumours of a back problem emerged after he was seen limping in September.

    He had originally been expected to travel to India last month but the Kremlin has dismissed suggestions he has serious health problems, and Putin implied last week that such talk was politically motivated.

    Vladimir Putin reaches India, eyes arms sales, trade and political ties | NDTV.com
     
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  5. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    about 1000 engines interesting, are we going to war ?
     
  6. arya

    arya Senior Member Senior Member

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    we are lossing each other. Russia has to think why they are giving china more importance
     
  7. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Chakra is not working, had it been ATV, all the media would be after DRDO and even talks of getting nuke subs from Russia in future. The way we treat Russians and domestic manufactures are not in same plane.
     
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  8. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    There was a time when the best technology was available to India in Rs. payments and that was from Russia. Today we have a wide choice and if Russians are not in a position to honour commitments made, then we have full right to shop elsewhere.

    A case in the point is supplies from the US are coming on before the due date, the latest being the P8I from Boeing which was delivered 8 weeks in advance.
     
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  9. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    well Putin is in Delhi, Russians are supplying arms to China and engines through China to Pak, we too have kept open our options e.g MRCA.
    Now we have to see how well we can protect our interest, without upsetting our old friends. We have to make sure day light robbery should not take place, already tax payers money has been taken for ride in this country.
     
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  10. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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  11. Indianboy

    Indianboy Regular Member

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    India-Russia ties need to be cemented with honesty

    It was a historic day for India. For the first time a visiting Russian head of State was greeted by booing crowds rather than by the usual, choreographed cheers and waves. Vladimir Putin’s visit comes at a time when India-Russia relations are at their lowest ebb (except for perhaps in the mid-1960s when the Soviets threatened to sell tanks to Pakistan) and Putin had some hard-talking to do in his 18 hours in India. India’s grievances against the Russians are many — the anti-nuclear brigade PMANE is unhappy over Moscow’s role in Kudankulam and has accused the Russian Ambassador to India of interfering in the internal affairs of the country. The business community is upset with Russia for making access to Russian markets difficult for Indian goods; the military is frustrated with their old patron for the increasing costs of weapons systems and repeated delays in the delivery of equipment. And lastly, even the cultural Right is outraged at Russia for the 2004 demolition of an ISKCON temple and recent threats to remove it from even the makeshift premises that had been promised it. Furthermore, the recent petition to ban the Bhagavad Gita in a Russian town has not made the world’s largest country any dearer to many Indians.

    Russia has its difficulties with India too, in large part the slow shift of the latter towards the West. Not only has India embraced the Western market ideology more fully than Russia, it has also started to drift closer to the Western orbit on several critical issues for the Kremlin such as ballistic missile defence. India’s increased joint military exercises with the United States and its coy response to the US pivot to Asia, its unassuming development of relations with Israel, along with its strengthening ties with Australia has left the oligarchs in Russia wondering about India’s true intentions. Delhi has also looked westwards for a few of its big ticket defence purchases recently, and the Kremlin is not happy at the prospect of having to share a growing market.

    Nonetheless, Moscow accounts for about 70% of the military hardware that India buys and is still Delhi’s largest arms supplier.

    The staleness in the Indo-Russian relationship is the direct result of the end of the Cold War. The collapse of the Soviet Union coincided with the downfall of India’s Nehruvian fancy. For a while, both States were too busy with internal issues to pay attention to a rising US hyperpower and China, the new power on the block. Things stabilised by the late 1990s, but neither country had a clear understanding of the new world order or where they fit in it; and while Russia knew it wanted to remain at the table of great powers, India repeated its trite mantra of non-alignment even in a post-Cold War world. The expansion of NATO and of the European Union into Eastern Europe put Russia on its back foot with regard to the West in general, while the computer revolution and an opening economy pushed India closer to the West. These tectonic shifts were bound to cause difficulties sooner or later.

    No amount of cosmetics can disguise the ill health of the Indo-Russian relationship. Russia and India share no ideological or cultural background, and their loose alliance has been based on pure self interest — Delhi needed a superpower who could veto irritants in the United Nations, sell it weapons, and serve as an unspoken bulwark against China. It helped that the USSR was willing to conduct trade in rupees rather than hard currency and that they would offer India lines of credit (not as generous as is commonly believed). For the Soviets, India was a voice in the Third World, a balance against China, and a market for its goods. However, both countries have two important questions in the post-Cold War era which will define their future relations: where do they stand with respect to the United States, and how do they view the rise of China?

    From the Russian perspective, the aggressive pursuit of BMD by Foggy Bottom even into former Soviet provinces is a worrying development. US inroads into Iraq, however unsuccessful, have turned a former Soviet client into a neutral country at best. US presence in Afghanistan and its quest for bases in Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries reminds the Kremlin of old-fashioned Cold War containment. The US role in Libya, and now its tactics against Iran and Syria, keep the Kremlin deeply apprehensive. China, on the other hand, may have cost Russian
    billions by reverse engineering its weapons technology, particularly its Sukhoi-27 a few years ago, but Beijing’s gaze is to the east and southeast. Russia’s evaluation of its southern neighbour highlights the internal problems of China and paranoia about a Chinese rise has not yet set in. Moreover, a stronger China is the Kremlin’s best bet against US adventurism in far-flung corners of the globe while Russia rebuilds its capabilities. In this context, India’s blue shift raises eyebrows in Russia.

    New Delhi, however, sees the world differently. Admittedly, its defeat in the 1962 Sino-Indian War has affected it psychologically more than the eventual military results, but that does not mean Race Course Road has nothing to worry about. China continues to arm and support Pakistan — even with prohibited nuclear and missile technology — and encircles India with military assets. China is yet to make any real overtures towards solving the border dispute, and its actions along the Brahmaputra have caused some concern in Delhi. The US, however, has taken giant strides in trying to accommodate India by bringing it into the nuclear club, opening its sensitive technology market to South Block, and cooperating on intelligence gathering and other
    operations. India can also rely on the US to balance against China for its own interests, unlike Russia, allowing RCR to take the quieter option of not committing to alliances and chest-thumping.

    Of course, no relationship is without its aches — the United States and India are divided on Washington’s mollycoddling of Pakistan and Delhi’s soft touch on Iran. India also worries about what will happen in Afghanistan after the US exit in 2014. Similarly, Russia cannot but be aware of Chinese attempts to encroach into Russia’s sphere of influence through the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and bilateral agreements with Central Asian republics, particularly in the energy sector. Nor can Russia be sanguine about weapons sales to China anymore. However, Russia is equally wary of India’s presence in Central Asia, as was evidence by its objection to India’s use of the Ayni Air Base in Tajikistan (not to be confused with the Farkhor Air Base). Like in human relationships, which bonds are worth the heartache is entirely a matter of how you see your future.

    Putin went home last night after signing deals in excess of $3 billion with India in the defence, high-tech, and nuclear sectors, and this is the the carrot Moscow has to dangle before Delhi.

    Despite warming relations with the United States, India-US collaboration in defence technology is non-existent, while Russia has jointly developed the Brahmos missile with India, and a Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft programme is underway. Furthermore, Russia seems more willing to transfer technology in these areas (even though there have been some hiccups with the T-90), whereas the US has been reluctant to sell India top of the shelf toys like the Javelin anti-tank guided missile.

    Indians may like to interpret joint production to mean an equal distribution of input, but the sorry state of India’s own projects such as the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, the Arjun main battle tank, its nuclear programme, and a series of other high-tech areas amply illustrates how much India relies on Russian aid in these areas.

    However, these are medium-term solutions. As India develops its own technical prowess – whether by buying or developing skills – its need for Russia will reduce. The US is a more useful partner for India right now, as its views on issues critical to India – China – match.

    Even on Pakistan, though the US has shown great unwillingness to abandon the failed State, it has taken a much more serious position on Islamabad than it did previously. Russia, in its own security calculus, cannot offer the insurance India seeks against China and has little influence over Pakistan. Yet, given India’s aversion to clear policies, none of these issues will appear pronounced or exacerbated.

    Growing economic relations between all four powers will further serve to soften the hard edges in policy.

    As two of Asia’s largest States size each other up again, it is important that they look beyond the more immediate squabbles over the Admiral Gorshkov, the stealth frigates, or the T-90S to the changed framework within which they now operate. Henry Kissinger once said that strategy is an unnatural act for democracies — they do it after they have exhausted all other options. India’s Russia strategy and Russia’s India strategy — called that only by the grace of semantic generosity — have for over a decade been in the doldrums. If genuinely firm relations are to be cemented, both sides must acknowledge their different starting positions and do some frank talking.
     

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