Russian President Putin Discusses Arms, Nuclear Deal in India
Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign a deal in India on Friday, which is worth more than $5 billion for the S-400 air defense system. This is scheduled to take place despite US warnings of sanctions against countries who will be looking to buy Russian military hardware.
On Thursday, Putin arrived in New Delhi and discussed further agreements with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which are worth around $3 billion for Russian military helicopters and naval ships.
While Russia is busy training Indian astronauts in country for New Dehli’s first crew space mission in 2022, Russia also has intentions of building its second nuclear power plant in India.
India, which has gotten itself in a tightrope between Russia and the United States, also keeps a cautious eye on China. The country is also expected to seek sanctions waivers, however, President Donald Trump’s administration in the U.S. does not seem to have any such intentions to agree.
However, Washington seems to be in a tough situation with India too, as it needs to is in a difficult position when it comes to New Delhi, seeking to widen its ties with India to counter China’s growing confidence and also maintaining pressure on Russia.
Earlier last month, Washington and New Delhi revealed plans to commence joint military drills in 2019, and agreed to exchange sensitive military information. Due to this, India is now US’ second biggest arms supplier.
Then again, Russia is still considered as number one and is planning to maintain its rank, while India carries out a $100-billion upgrade of its military hardware to prevent potential threats from China and Pakistan.
“Russia is a time-tested friend. I am really glad some spine has finally been shown by India,” R.R. Subramanian, a Delhi-based strategic affairs analyst, told AFP.
“It´s about time we… showed that we are not going to be pushed around by Washington,” said the analyst.
Putin was accompanied by top officials including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and are Modi due to meet at 11:00 am (0530 GMT).
An exchange of agreements and press statements are scheduled for 2:30 pm.