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    Russia - India Strategic Relationship: News

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    Austin
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    Re: Russia - India Strategic Relationship: News

    Post  Austin on Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:50 pm

    PAK-FA is an Evolving Aircraft. Right Now, work is Underway to Build a Prototype That Both Russia and India Wants

    Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation, P.S. Raghavan

    http://forceindia.net/Interview_PSRaghavan.aspx ( FORCE Magazine OCTOBER )

    There is a sentiment that the India-Russia relationship does not have the same momentum that it did in the past. How real is this feeling?

    This may be the sense of one segment within Russia. It is neither widespread nor true. If ever there was a dip in the relationship it was in the Nineties. However, by the beginning of the decade of 2000, the relationship picked up. President Vladimir Putin had expressed a public desire for strengthening the ties and we had responded equally enthusiastically. The sense that you are talking about has come up in the last four or five years; particularly in the defence sector. Because there were a number of projects that were announced or discussed but were seen by some as not making sufficient headway. Hence, it appeared that there was some sort of cooling off, but this is more a matter of perception than reality. Moreover, these things are episodic. Every time India buys something from the United States, it is magnified several times and there is disappointment in some circles in Russia.

    Yet, if you look at our defence purchases, and the dependence our armed forces have on Russian platforms, it will be a long, long time before the relationship is affected and our dependence on Russia as the basic supplier of defence equipment is reduced.

    The specific complaint that the Russian industry has is that India has started to buy equipment through Foreign Military Sale (FMS) route from the United States, whereas Russian companies have to compete ?


    It is the government’s decision to diversify defence purchases to some extent. As our Prime Minister said, we have options and we are availing those options; however, even as we avail those options, Russia will remain our biggest defence partner. We cannot stop acquiring from other countries and Russia does not have a problem with that. As long as we remain committed to the programmes we have charted out with Russia, we can move forward in a purposeful manner.

    So there is nothing wrong in our relationship with Russia at a macro level?


    There is nothing wrong in our bilateral relationship at the fundamental level. Yes, there was occasionally a sense of drift in recent years, but then things are changing. Our new government is also committed to strengthening the Russia relationship. In the joint press conference with President Putin last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that while we may have choices, Russia will remain our primary defence partner. He added that Russia has stood with us in our times of need. The instructions given to us are that we have to take forward the bilateral relationship with great vigour. There is disappointment in some quarters because certain programmes are not moving as quickly as the Russians would want them to. But actually if one sees carefully then a lot of things are happening.

    What are these things?


    At the same press conference last year, Prime Minister announced joint manufacture of helicopters in India. This is a new project to manufacture Kamov 226T. Now we are moving ahead on this programme. We have asked the Russians to come to India with a business plan, complete with timelines and technical specifications. We met up with the Russian Helicopters here at this show also. We are going to start the technical discussion very soon as to how the joint manufacturing would happen. The aircraft is well-known to us; it had also undergone trials in India earlier.

    In terms of Make in India, how will the production happen? Will it be in partnership with a private sector or public sector company?

    The Make in India model envisages that the foreign original equipment manufacturer (OEM) form a joint venture (JV) with an Indian partner. This joint venture company then becomes the manufacturer of the aircraft and will negotiate the contract with the government. There are certain conditions which the government of India has laid down, which will have to be met by this JV. These pertain to technical specifications, indigenisation, timelines, transfer of technology etc. Once these are negotiated, a business plan for production can be finalised. A government to government agreement will also be signed for the realisation of the programme.

    The OEM is free to choose its partner. It could be anyone, a private sector or a public sector company. It could even be Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) if the OEM so decides. Since the helicopters will be made in India by the JV, there is no specific offset obligation. However, the concept of offsets would come in through technologies transferred, IPR transfer and through our ability to then export the aircraft.
    It is possible that initially some helicopters may come in the form of completely knocked down (CKD) or semi knocked down (SKD) condition because we may want to induct some quickly. It is also possible that they may not be able to transfer some technology because it may not be theirs to begin with. But within these limitations, the idea of Make in India is that we have to maximise technology transfer.

    How will this be different from the current programme of Su-30MKI where HAL is manufacturing the aircraft in India on Transfer of Technology (ToT)?


    That is not Make in India in the same way. That is licensed production. HAL is assembling the fighters under licensed production from Russia. There is a certain element of ToT, but it is not large. What we are talking about is a bigger ToT to be determined by negotiations. The components would be eventually manufactured in India as well as the aircraft. There will be genuine ToT and transfer of IPR. Moreover, we will be able to export as well.

    What is holding up the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme?


    There was a lack of progress in the last few months, but we believe that we have now resolved several technical issues that were pending. Both the Indian Air Force (IAF) and HAL have had discussions with the Russians on issues that were hanging fire.

    But given that the Russian FGFA has already been flying for the last few years, where does India’s role in joint development fit in? Won’t we be buying a ready aircraft?


    It was always the case that there was a Russian aircraft on which work was proceeding to develop stealth features. You saw a version of this being demonstrated at the MAKS Air Show. Basically, FGFA will be an aircraft with advanced stealth capabilities. When it was first envisaged, it was decided that we would work on progressively adding stealth features to an existing basic aircraft model until it reaches the required technical capabilities. This is why even today, even with the aircraft flying, it is work in progress. Our objective is to develop an aircraft with agreed technical parameters.

    Will it be fair to say that like Su-30MKI, we will ask the Russians to incorporate Indian specifications, including indigenous elements, in the FGFA for the IAF, given that the Russians seem to have frozen the design of the fighter?


    It is not correct to say that the design has been frozen. PAK-FA is an evolving aircraft. Right now, work is underway to build a prototype that both Russia and India wants. There was a preliminary design phase whose objective was to deliver the first prototype for the work to begin. That phase is over. Now we are negotiating on the final design phase where the prototype would be frozen. Once this is done, we will enter the production phase, when issues of weaponisation would be discussed and finalised.

    Given this when can we expect the agreement to be signed?


    I can’t answer this. Both the IAF and HAL are currently engaged in technical discussions with the Russians. Signing of the agreement will depend upon the pace of the negotiations.

    What is the update on Medium Transport Aircraft?

    It is at a similar stage at the moment. We are going through technical and price negotiations. We need to reach a product that meets our technical requirements at a price which is viable over its life cycle.

    Does it mean that we may decide not to go ahead with the programme?


    We have a joint venture and we are continuing our discussions. As long as both are in place, there is no reason to believe that we will not go ahead with the programme.

    What is our position on the Russian overtures, including sale of defence equipment, to Pakistan? It seems that the two are keen on building a defence relationship, given the high profile visits by military and political leaders on both side.


    We have been hearing about the sale of some defence equipment by Russia to Pakistan for the last year and a half, and other interactions as you mention. But, rather than comment on Russia’s relationship with Pakistan, I would say that India-Russia defence ties are at a level of intensity and trust that pre-supposes a clear understanding of mutual security concerns. For India, this means we would not like to see any present or potential adversary armed with defence equipment that could impact on our security. I believe Russia is sensitive to this concern of ours and we have seen official Russian statements to this effect.

    The second point here is that, whenever we buy anything from Russia we would like to make sure, one, that it is better than what is available to us from anywhere in the world; and two, that the same technology and performance levels of the equipment are not being made available to others.

    I reiterate the point that volume of our defence contracts with Russia, whether it is direct purchase or co-development, is huge. We are Russia’s number one defence customer. Even if we try, it will take longer than a generation to move away from Russian defence equipment. But we are not trying to veer away from Russia. All these new projects are getting us further engaged with Russia. Defence projects also have a gestation period. They can’t have the same level of turnover continuously. If you recall, from 2012 to 2014, so many Russian platforms were inducted into our army, air force and navy. Obviously, there follows a period of relative lull when new projects are being discussed and perhaps don’t move at the pace one would like them to.

    What progress have we made with Russia on Glonass?


    Glonass has multiple applications and Russia is very keen to develop those applications in India. They are already in touch with a number of private players to roll out these applications. As far as I know, they want to talk with Antrix Corporation about manufacturing their receivers in India. These will be multi-system receivers, which will be able to receive Glonass and IRNSS signals.

    Will they allow us to have military resolution on Glonass?


    That is a matter of negotiation.

    Till a few years ago, one heard a lot about Indian investments in Sakhalin, but it seems to have quietened now. What is the update on the energy sector?


    Sakhalin-I has been ONGC’s most profitable investment abroad. But ONGC also invested in Imperial Energy’s oilfields in Tomsk about six-seven years ago, and this is where it has been having problems. The geological conditions have made it difficult to viably extract oil here. It’s a phenomenon called tight oil. This raised questions about the viability of the project. Now they are developing some new technologies to overcome that. This may have somewhat slowed Indian investments in Russia’s energy sector.

    But now the situation is looking up once again and India has come back with vigour to invest in hydrocarbons. Prime Minister Modi told President Putin in December last year that since India is an energy-hungry country and Russia is an energy-surplus one, we need to have a strategic vision for cooperation in hydrocarbons. ONGC is currently negotiating some investment projects in Siberia. A lot is happening in other areas too. Essar Group has signed a long term agreement for purchase of oil. Rosneft has picked up 49 per cent shares in an Essar refinery in Gujarat. GAIL has an agreement to lift LNG from Russia. In addition, a joint working group has been formed for a feasibility study on building a gas pipeline from Russia to India. We already have cooperation in nuclear energy which is doing very well, but hydrocarbon is an area of great promise. Russia is very keen that we invest in projects in East Siberia and the Arctic region.

    Given all this, what are your priority areas to further deepen the bilateral relationship?


    We have a special and privileged strategic partnership with Russia. This is what we call it. To sustain and justify it, we need to develop all pillars of it equally. One pillar which is relatively weaker is trade. Reviving Rouble-Rupee trade is easier said than done, though two central banks are actually working on the possibility. We expect their report in a few months. Earlier we could trade in Rouble-Rupee, because both currencies were non-convertible. Today, we have a convertible Rouble and a partially convertible Rupee, so it is difficult to trade. But let’s be clear, Rouble-Rupee trade is not a panacea – a solution to weak economic ties. Trade can only grow when both countries want to buy each other’s products. We need greater promotional efforts.

    The other area is investments. I have already spoken about hydrocarbons. The other areas that we are interested in are natural resources. Russia is the richest country as far as natural resources are concerned. We are now looking at fertilisers, white coal and some other resources.

    Nuclear energy has developed very well and has the potential of growing fast. This also fits into our plans. We have put in a very ambitious plan in the last summit meeting, that we will develop at least 12 reactors in two decades. We have two at present; the second one will be commissioned soon. We have already signed the general framework agreement for three and four. We will start the spadework for reactors five and six soon, because these things take time.

    Even in the defence sector, there is so much in the pipeline that all we need is focussed attention to see the programme through to completion. Unfortunately, the media focuses on big ticket items because they make instant news. But actually there are so many small projects, amounting to a lot of money, which are being done quietly.

    Product support is one of the recurring problems with Russian equipment. While Indian companies complain of poor support by the Russian OEMs, they feel constraint because all transactions happen through Rosoboronexport. Why can’t Indian users deal with the Russian companies directly, at least in respect of spares etc?


    Over the last one or two years, we have been discussing the after-sale product support issue constantly with the Russians. Since then, 23 OEMs, by the decree of President Putin, have been given the right to deal directly with the Indian users for servicing, upgradation, repair and maintenance of Russian platforms. So, they are now able come to India directly to resolve these issues with the Indian users and industrial partners. Why do you think 30 Indian companies came to MAKS and secretary, department of defence production took the time and effort to preside over a special Make in India session with Indian and Russian arms companies. Indian companies are very keen to start this process and the Russians are conscious of the fact that after sales support is crucial to selling more of their equipment in India. The Indian Embassy in Russia, along with the Russian ministry of industry & trade, organised another interaction of Indian and Russian companies during the Show. The second such conference will be organised in India soon.

    George1
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    Re: Russia - India Strategic Relationship: News

    Post  George1 on Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:43 pm

    Trade turnover between Russia, India to reach $30 bln by 2025 — Deputy PM

    MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. Trade turnover between Russia and India may reach $30 bln by 2025, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said at a meeting of Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on Tuesday.

    "The issue is about reaching $30 bln worth of mutual trade turnover and $15 bln worth of mutual investment by 2025," Rogozin said.

    Deputy Prime Minister also said the Russian government is taking steps to create favorable conditions for developing trade, economic and investment cooperation, particularly free trade agreement, agreement on mutual stimulation and protection of investment, on payments in national currencies, on admitting certifications of conformity and education and diploma standards. Rogozin added that the cooperation program in oil and gas sector has been launched.

    Russian export center must become "single window" of economic interaction between Russia and India

    According to Rogozin Russia’s export center must become a "single window" of economic interaction between Russia and India.

    "The modern times makes it necessary to simplify and accelerate the processes of public administration, the development of economic institutions to support and stimulate economic activities, the development of one-window system. We should do everything what is needed to ensure that our agencies work in comfortable, red-tape free conditions. I would like to note that the newly created Russian export center should become such a window for the development of foreign economic relations," Rogozin said.

    Rogozin said that relations between Russia and India had shown a steady development over the years. According to him, Russia is ready to support India and actively participate in the implementation of large-scale projects on developing the country's economy.

    "Russia is ready to assist India in nuclear energy development, upgrade of thermal power plants, metallurgical and machine-building companies, exploration, mining, construction of gas pipelines, power lines, rail infrastructure, rolling stock, aircraft and helicopter, the peaceful use of space, the development of modern means of communication, the creation of "smart cities", the construction of industrial facilities, construction and creation of modern systems of water treatment, the development of medical equipment and medicines, training of qualified personnel," the deputy prime minister said.

    Russia, India eye expansion of trade in national currencies

    First Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexey Likhachev said India and Russia would like to expand bilateral trade in national currencies, but the banking systems are not yet ready for being actively involved in this process.

    "This is a burning issue. Our banking systems are not ready to actively respond to the request. We would like to expand it [trade in national currencies -TASS]," he said.

    According to him, the use of national currencies would increase the volume of trade because it allows the parties to avoid currency fluctuations.

    "It's much more comfortable for entrepreneurs, significantly reduces transaction expenses and reduces costs," Likhachev said.


    _________________
    "There's no smoke without fire.", Georgy Zhukov


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    India and Russia: A Course Correction

    Post  Pinto on Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:30 am

    An upcoming visit by Indian PM Narendra Modi may lend some needed momentum to ties.



    Over the past six months, Russia has made its presence felt in the global realpolitik scene with gusto. With the Kremlin militarily intervening in Syria, reportedly bombing ISIS and in effect protecting Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Damascus, while juggling a yet unresolved Ukraine crisis and dealing with Western sanctions… Moscow has its hands full.

    Most aspects of India-Russia bilateral ties are quite institutionalized, and work in an automated manner irrespective of who is in power in New Delhi or Moscow. Russia could perhaps be seen as India’s only definitive “strategic” partner in its truest form, and this unique relationship has developed over decades.

    However, over the past year the Moscow-Delhi dynamic seems to have lost some of its previous momentum. This may now be about to change, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi preparing to make his first visit to Moscow early next month.

    Russia’s economy is in crisis, with oil prices below $50 per barrel at a time when Russian President Vladimir Putin is wielding Russian military power in the global political theater. With Ukraine to Syria, Russia is involved in external military operations that analysts believe are unsustainable for the long run given Moscow’s current economic environment.

    When Putin visited India in December 2014, a few months after Narendra Modi won a historic election and became the new prime minister, the Russian president’s stay was cut short from a planned three-day visit to one lasting barely 23 hours. This was largely due to the Ukraine crisis, which was peaking at that point. After this visit, the noose of Western sanctions on Russia tightened, and Moscow began looking at India and China to boost its own finances at home.

    Moscow’s attempts to compensate for oil revenues with defense revenues for its exchequer are not easy tasks to achieve. Russia’s reaction to losing Indian helicopter deals and MMRCA fighter jet deals to the United States and France was to make its displeasure known by a sudden affinity to bolstering Russia-Pakistan ties. In what seemed like a contemptuous move against Delhi, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who is very close to Putin, visited Islamabad in August, a trip that saw both countries sign defense agreements including the sale of Mi-35 “Hind E” attack helicopters, a variant of the type also operated by India. To push the envelope a little further, reports surfaced last month that Moscow and Islamabad were in talks for the former to sell its top of the line Sukhoi 35 fighter jets to Pakistan (India operates the Sukhoi 30MKI variant). Both of these developments naturally created ripples in the Indian strategic and defense affairs discourse.

    However, this realpolitik maneuvering by Russia is mostly to send a message to New Delhi about the latter’s growing clubbiness with Washington. Moscow is not used to losing out on Indian defense contracts, which it sees as a significant part of its arms export pie. Of course, for the longest time India had few options other than Russia for its defense needs. The recently concluded aircraft carrier saga between the two nations that gave India the INS Vikramaditya (formerly the Admiral Gorshkov with the Russian Navy) could be seen as something of a turning point, where the project cost India much more than expected and Russia acted arrogantly on the questions of price and delivery schedules. For now, analysts are confident that Russia will in fact not sell the Sukhoi 35s to Pakistan.

    Even after considering the above parameters, India is still investing in Russia and helping Moscow more than perhaps the Kremlin would like to publicly acknowledge. New Delhi was vague at best, flirting with support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea and later gave some sort of backing to Moscow’s bombing campaign in Syria. On the economic front, India’s ONGC Videsh has continued to invest in Russian energy sector with only last month buying a 15 percent stake in Russia’s second largest oil field for around $1.27 billion. Beyond this, India is also keen to go deeper into Russia’s Arctic regions and jointly work on the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, establishing itself as a long-term player in the country’s energy sector.

    To give some further relief to Moscow in its sanction ridden economic woes, Indian dairy companies are keen to enter the Russian market, which will allow Russia to deal with its growing food crisis, specifically milk. Currently, Russia is using its relations with Belarus to get around European Union (EU) sanctions, using Minsk as the middleman to plug its gaps. For a small country, Belarus’s imports of milk from the EU reportedly went up by a factor of 573 last year, with the extra supply of course being handed over to Moscow. Belarus at the same time has also become a net exporter of fish, an astonishing achievement for a land-locked country.

    It is true, however, that Russia has been unnaturally absent from Modi’s global outreach over the past year. During this same period, the Russian economy has been hit on two major fronts, oil prices and sanctions. In the run-up to Modi’s meeting with Putin, India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar during a visit to Moscow agreed to purchase Russia’s advanced S-400 Triumf air defense missile system for a whopping $10 billion. And this is precisely what Moscow wants from New Delhi, the continuous dominance of its defense partnership with India. However, Putin must realize that India’s political mileage in the global arena is much stronger than it used to be. India can now afford to buy better and more reliable weapons even if they cost more than what Russia has to offer, if what it is offering is not up to the expectations.

    There are no major scars in the India-Russia dynamic, but Modi’s visit should successfully inject that much-needed oil into the political machinery between the two states. The need for this visit by Modi has become more than apparent over the past few months, and both Modi and Putin will welcome this opportunity for a course correction.

    http://thediplomat.com/2015/11/india-and-russia-a-course-correction/

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    Tata to make parts for Sukhoi Superjet

    Post  Pinto on Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:26 pm

    Russia is keen on extending its cooperation with India in aerospace sectors to the civil aviation sector and is in talks with several Indian private companies to establish joint projects under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

    Sukhoi and Tata are in advanced stage of talks for the latter to build components for the Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ) 100 in India.

    “We are in talks with Tata on manufacturing some of the tail components of the SSJ 100 in India. The talks are in an advanced stage,” Yury B. Slyusar, president of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), told a group of visiting Indian journalists who were in Russia at the invitation of the UAC.

    Tata already manufactures aerostructures and components for several global Original Equipment Manufacturers at its facilities in Hyderabad. Mr. Slyusar said a visit to Tata facilities in India by the company officials showed that their technical capability was up to the mark.

    In addition to Tata, the UAC is also in talks with Mahindra and Reliance which are at a preliminary stage. With Reliance, military cooperation is also being discussed, Mr. Slyusar added.

    Huge potential

    Sukhoi is planning to offer the SSJ 100 for the Indian market which has a large growth potential for civil aircraft. It is being pitched as a product offering the comfort and economy of a narrow bodied aircraft with the range of a regional jet. Company officials said India along with China, Middle East and Latin America, is one of the priority markets.

    SSJ 100 is already being serially produced and over 56 aircraft are in operation. Several airlines have cumulatively flown over 1,18,400 flight hours as of November 2015 starting from April 2011.

    Russia has also offered to collaborate with India in its ambitious efforts to build a regional passenger


    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tata-to-make-parts-for-sukhoi-superjet/article7981690.ece

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    India and Russia eye nuclear, helicopter deals before Modi's Moscow visit

    Post  Pinto on Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:32 am

    Prime minister Narendra Modi is expected to promote deals for Russian nuclear reactors and military helicopters worth billions of dollars on a trip to Moscow next week, attracted by promises to transfer technology that Western nations have been slow to make.

    Russia and India will manufacture 200 Kamov-226T helicopters in a joint venture, a Russian and an Indian government official said, in the first big step for PM Narendra Modi's campaign to build a domestic industrial base and reduce the military's dependence on expensive imports.

    Modi, who heads for Moscow on December 23, will also offer Russia a site in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh to build six nuclear reactors of 1,200 megawatts (MW) each, the same sources added.

    That is in addition to the six Russia is constructing in neighbouring Tamil Nadu state, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press.

    New Delhi has turned to Russia as US firm General Electric and Westinghouse, a US based unit of Japan's Toshiba, are still weighing an entry into India's nuclear energy sector because of a law that makes reactor suppliers liable in case of an accident.

    Modi's Make-in-India push for a military that has been the world's biggest importer for the last four years has also made little headway, with negotiations stalled over issues including technology transfer and the local assembly of equipment.

    For Russia, India offers an alternative, fast-growing outlet for its exports as sanctions imposed by the West squeeze the economy.

    "While others are making promises, Russia is moving forward with the Make-in-India programme," the Russian government source said.

    Russia let dominance slip


    Moscow, which has maintained close ties with India since the Cold War, has in recent years slipped behind the United States and Israel in securing orders in the Indian defence market, estimated to be worth $130 billion over the next seven years.

    Now Russian President Vladimir Putin is banking on India's drive to manufacture at home to regain market share.

    "The objective is that whatever we do with Russia, that will have a 'Make-in-India' component," said Amitabh Kant, the top Indian bureaucrat leading the push to turn India into a global manufacturing base.

    Under an inter-government agreement to be signed during Modi's trip, Moscow will set up a production line for the light helicopters that will supply the Indian military but also eventually Russia, the Russian official said.
    India's state-run Hindustan Aeronautics and Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence are in the running as local partners for the deal for the 200 twin-engined helicopters, estimated at $1 billion, to replace India's ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.

    "The choice of the Indian partner has been left to the Indian government. We will work with anyone the government nominates," the official said.

    India is also turning to Russia to secure overseas energy assets to help fuel its economy. Indian Oil Corp and Oil India, both state-owned, are in talks with Russia's Rosneft to buy up to a 29 percent stake in a Siberian oil project, two sources said on Friday.

    Russia has the advantage

    The helicopter deal would be the first major contract under Modi's drive to build weapons at home that has excited local defence companies but failed to deliver any significant tenders.

    As some Indian manufacturers look to Western firms for the tie-ups needed to bring in technology and build locally, Reliance is forging closer ties with Russia to jumpstart its nascent bid to develop a defence business from scratch.

    A Reliance executive, who asked not to be named, said negotiations to win the joint helicopter venture would not start until the two governments had agreed the deal. Hindustan Aeronautics did not respond to a request for comment.

    A source close to Rosoboronexport, Russia's state-owned arms exporter, said India would produce 140 of the choppers and Russia the remaining 60. Pre-contract work is underway and the two sides expect to clarify the agreement during Modi's visit, the source said.

    An Indian government official confirmed the plan to sign the helicopter deal as well as the proposed offer of Andhra Pradesh as the location of the next set of reactors to be built by Russian state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom.

    The two sides have not given any value for the deal. Rosatom spokesman Sergey Novikov said there were no plans yet to sign any contracts during Modi's visit.

    Nandan Unnikrishnan, an expert on India-Russia relations at the Observer Research Foundation, said that despite New Delhi's tilt towards the West for military hardware in recent years, Russia retained an edge in many areas.

    "Russia has a distinct advantage over everyone in understanding how Indian bureaucracy works, given the level of trust that exists in the Indian establishment vis-a-vis Russia," he said.

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/india-and-russia-eye-nuclear-kamov-helicopter-deals-before-pm-modis-moscow-visit/articleshow/50236049.cms

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    India, Russia likely to sign pact on Kudankulam during PM Modi’s visit

    Post  Pinto on Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:11 am

    In a move to scale up cooperation in the nuclear energy sector, India and Russia are likely to sign an agreement on Kudankulam units 5 and 6 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Eurasian country from Wednesday.

    Sources said the government is also planning to make optimum use of the available nuclear sites in various states to accommodate more atomic reactors to meet energy-starved country’s growing needs.
    Modi is scheduled to visit Russia from December 23-24 to hold an annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

    Ahead of the Prime Ministerial visit, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Rosatom – the Russian counterpart of the India’s Department of Atomic Energy – Nikolai Spasskiy paid a visit to India on December 7-8, during which he is believed to have held negotiations with Sekhar Basu, Secretary DAE regarding the possible inking of a pact of unit 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) during Modi’s stay.

    “During negotiations, the parties discussed issues of final acceptance of Unit 1 of Kudankulam NPP, achievement of the minimum controlled power at Unit 2, beginning of construction of Units 3 and 4, and signing of the general framework agreement for Units 5 and 6, as well as further cooperation development steps,” Rosatom said.

    The agreement details were also deliberated upon, sources said.
    Unit 5 and 6 of VVER technology are expected to be of the same MW like units 1-4, but the cost details of the project is yet to be finalised.
    In what could be a major policy decision, the government will now insist that the states should have more reactors at one site. The reason behind coming up with a policy is taken in view of the limited number in terms of space available for building a nuclear site.

    “This move not only helps address the location issues which is difficult in view of public opinion against nuclear plants, but also helps in reducing infrastructure cost. For example, the DAE does not have to spent on building infrastructure for its staff, like the colonies, schools as the existing sites take care of it. It also address the issue of deployment of security personnel,” he said.

    The government is constructing six reactors in new projects like Jaitapur (EPR 1000×6) in Maharashtra built with French technology, Kovadda in Andhra Pradesh (1000MW x 6) and Mithi Virdhi in Gujarat.


    http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/india-russia-likely-to-sign-pact-on-kudankulam-during-pm-modis-visit/

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    India, Russia working to put in place extensive counter-terror cooperation pact

    Post  Pinto on Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:24 pm

    NEW DELHI: India and Russia are working to formulate an extensive counter-terror cooperation arrangement that will be put in place during Narendra Modi's Moscow visit on Dec 23-24 in the backdrop of rise of Islamic State with the bilateral partnership hoping to beef up mechanism for intelligence sharing, training of personnel and capacity building.


    Delhi and Moscow have been building on a counter-terror cooperation away from the public glare and the mechanism to boost intelligence sharing and training of personnel in counter-terrorism and enhancing capacity building to fight the growing menace will be on the agenda for the PM's trip to Russia for the annual Summit this week, official sources indicated to ET.


    Delhi and Moscow have been building on a counter-terror cooperation away from the public glare and the mechanism to boost intelligence sharing and training of personnel in counter-terrorism and enhancing capacity building to fight the growing menace will be on the agenda for the PM's trip to Russia for the annual Summit this week, official sources indicated to ET.

    The two countries are also working towards aligning positions on international terror at UN where India has been pushing for a convention as well as at the Financial Action Taken Force (FATF) platform, officials hinted. Almost six months back India was surprised with old strategic ally Russia's stand at a meeting of FATF in Brisbane where Moscow along with Australia, New Zealand and China opposed Delhi's move to get a censure against Pakistan for its inaction against Jamaat-ud-Dawa & Lashar-e-Taebbya. These countries had opposed India's move on the grounds that Pakistan is not even a member of FATF. Delhi had later raised the issue with Moscow and the two countries are understood to be working towards aligning their positions at bodies like FATF given the common threat from terror. In the past Delhi has been receiving steady support from Russia on terror and Indo-Pak issues as well as Kashmir.

    The objectives of the FATF (of which India is a member) are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system Delhi and Moscow are also understood to be developing common position on terror emanating from both Pakistan and Afghanistan, sources hinted. India and Russia have been on the same page regarding Afghanistan and Delhi is working with Moscow with regard to supply of Russia made defence equipment for Kabul. However it is no secret that during the past two years Delhi has been worried over implication of Russo-Pakistan defence cooperation and its implications on the country's security interests of India. India expects that Russia would not be oblivious of its decades-old and time-tested relations with India and Delhi's legitimate security interests in the region. That terror would be key agenda for Modi's Moscow trip was understood from Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin who visited Delhi recently to prepare for the annual summit.

    "The Indian prime minister is going to visit Moscow at a very important and troublesome period of time. It is not surprising that everything we discussed in New Delhi largely concerned struggle against terrorism and radical forms of Islam... India has enormous, and even dramatic, experience in waging this struggle," Rogozin told news agency TASS after his meehis meetings here. He said that the Indian side fully supported Russia's (anti-terror) efforts, including those directed at the Islamic State (IS).

    "Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Moscow late in December to attend a (bilateral Russian-Indian) summit. The visit will have a deep meaning. It is extremely important for discussing joint actions and the creation of a broad counter-terrorism coalition and also for exerting joint efforts in conditions when the two countries have not only found themselves on the one side of the barricades but are in the vanguard of this struggle (against terrorism)," said Rogozin explaining a key item on agenda for the Summit.

    According to him, the presence of IS in Afghanistan has aggravated the situation even further. "The Taliban used to be perceived as an exclusively domestic phenomenon for Afghanistan. ISIS (or IS) is something absolutely the opposite. They are as radical or even more radical (than the Taliban), and they also have global ambitions," Rogozin stressed.

    Read more at:
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50261706.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

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    Modi’s Russia visit: Major deals expected in defence, nuclear sectors

    Post  Pinto on Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:59 am

    When Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for Moscow on Wednesday on a two-day visit to attend the 16th India-Russia annual summit, expectations will be riding high with major agreements expected in the defence and nuclear sector.

    The last edition of the summit, held in New Delhi in December 2014, was a roaring success, evident in the fact that 20 deals worth over $100 billion were signed in less than 24 hours. “India’s partnership with Russia is incomparable,” Modi had tweeted then.

    This time on the defence front, a deal on the joint-production of 200 Kamov-226T helicopters may be the highlight. This will be a major boost to Modi’s Make in India initiative. The purchase of five Russian S-400 air defence systems, approved by the Defence Acquisition Council, will also be keenly watched.


    On his two-day visit to Russia, Narendra Modi will look to strengthen economic ties, normally a weaker point of Indo-Russian relations. (Reuters Photo)

    On the nuclear energy front, a deal is expected on the fifth and sixth units of the Koodankulam nuclear reactors. And there are talks about a deal for Russia to build six nuclear reactors in Andhra Pradesh.
    Modi is scheduled to address a cultural event for ‘Friends of India’ at the Expocentre in Moscow on December 24. The prime minister is expected to return to New Delhi after the event.

    The defence sector is perhaps the strongest component in India-Russia ties. “India’s defence production industry has a large Russian component to it, and during this visit that will increase,” says Anuradha Chenoy, professor at the Centre for Russian and Central Asian studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.

    The economic trade, however, do not reflect the intensity of the ties. Export from India saw a marginal rise in 2014 vis-a-vis the previous year, but overall trade dipped — from $10.11 billion in 2013 to $9.51 billion in 2014. While export from India rose 2.6% during this period, import slipped by 9.2%.
    “To put it in a nutshell, the strongest element of India-Russia partnership is defence, and the weakest element is our economic relationship. I think there will be an attempt by Modi to try and address this weakness through some of the strengths (in the ties),” says Nandan Unnikrishnan, a Russia expert and vice-president and senior fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi.

    The lull in Russia-Turkey ties, after Turkey downed a Russian Su-24 in Syria in November, presents an opportunity for India to boost trade ties. Kanwal Sibal, India’s ambassador to Russia from 2004 to 2007, feels that the visit should focus on “boosting economic and trade ties, especially after the collapse of ties between Russia and Turkey. Russia is keen on strengthening trade ties with India.”

    Terrorism will also be discussed by both the leaders. The former ambassador was of the opinion that Russia might discuss Syria with India, but the spotlight “would be on what is happening in the Af-Pak region. The presence of the Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan is of concern for Russia. It is also a concern for India as destabilisation of Afghanistan and extremist activity there is a problem for us.”

    Other than these, talks on fertilisers and hydrocarbons are also expected.
    In recent years, growing India-US ties have seemingly taken the sheen off India-Russia bilateral ties, but it is just a temporary lull that appears in any friendship that goes back decades.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/pm-narendra-modi-in-russia-a-fillip-to-the-druzhba-dosti-vision/story-qr4H334ElrtX4fLDrwacyN.html

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    India to offer site in Andhra to Russia for nuke plants

    Post  Pinto on Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:11 am

    India is expected to offer a site in Andhra Pradesh to set up units five and six of Kudankulam nuclear power plant by Russia in sync with broad principles of 'Make in India' initiative and a decision in this regard is likely to be finalised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Moscow this week.


    The two countries are likely to sign an agreement for the two units with provisions for involvement of India's private sector in the project including in supply of various components.

    "We will follow principles of 'localisation' as per Make in India initiative for setting up Kudankulam nuclear power plant five and six," sources told PTI.
    They said a site in Andhra Pradesh has been finalised for the project in line with government's policy for ensuring optimum use of the available nuclear sites in various states to accommodate more atomic reactors.

    Incidentally, Centre has already shortlisted the Kovvada site to build a project with the assistance of US-based nuclear vendor, GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy.

    Modi is scheduled to visit Russia from December 23-24 to hold an annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
    Russia has been a key partner of India in the civil nuclear energy sector. In the last summit between Modi and Putin, it was decided that Russia will build at least 12 nuclear reactors in India by 2035.

    In April last year, India and Russia had signed an agreement to build units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam project at a cost of Rs 33,000 crore. However, work on the ground is yet to start. The units 3 and 4 are be coming up in Tamil Nadu's coastal district of Tirunelveli.

    Earlier this month, Nikolai Spasskiy, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Rosatom - the Russian counterpart of the India's Department of Atomic Energy, visited India and he is believed have discussed with DAE brass about various aspect of the proposed pact for Kudankulam 5 and 6.
    Top Comment


    Units 5 and 6 of VVER technology are expected to be of the same MW like units 1-4, but the cost details of the project are yet to be finalised.
    The government is constructing six reactors in new projects like Jaitapur (EPR 1000x6) in Maharashtra built with French technology, Kovadda in Andhra Pradesh (1000MW x 6) and Mithi Virdhi in Gujarat (1000MW x 6).


    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-to-offer-site-in-Andhra-to-Russia-for-nuke-plants/articleshow/50268632.cms

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    PM Modi To Visit Russia Today, Talks On Nuclear Energy, Defence On Agenda

    Post  Pinto on Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:10 am

    NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for Russia today for a two-day visit that is part of the annual summit talks with President Vladimir Putin. After their meeting in Moscow on Thursday, the two leaders are expected to sign key agreements on defence and nuclear energy.

    "We expect to sign a number of agreements covering a very broad range of fields. Final touches are being given on some of them," Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told reporters.

    Last week, the Defence Ministry had cleared the purchase of Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems at an estimated cost of Rs. 40,000 crore.

    Without giving specific details, Mr Jaishankar said both PM Modi and President Putin will deliberate on enhancing cooperation in defence and nuclear energy spheres.

    "Russia has been a very major military and strategic partner of India. There will be a lot of discussions on that," he said.

    Expanding economic ties is also top of the agenda, with CEOs from both sides meeting.

    Currently bilateral trade stands at $10 billion, which both sides want to enhance to $30 billion in the next 10 years.

    PM Modi and President Putin will also discuss the situation in Syria and ways to tackle terrorism. "This would be definitely one of the most important engagements for us," Mr Jaishankar said.

    India has watched with some concern, Russia's decision to supply attack helicopters to Pakistan, though officially that has been played down.

    PM Modi is also scheduled to have dinner with President Putin today. On Thursday, he will address around 3,000 members of the Indian community in Moscow.


    http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pm-modi-to-visit-russia-tomorrow-talks-on-nuclear-energy-defence-on-agenda-1257764

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    Russia remains India's 'principal partner' in defence: PM Narendra Modi

    Post  Pinto on Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:44 pm

    MOSCOW: Assuring Russia that it will remain India's "principal partner" in defence sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the two strategic partners are working together for joint manufacture of advanced defence equipment in India under the 'Make in India' initiative.

    "Russia has been India's foremost defence partner through decades, accounting for a majority of our defence equipment... Even in the current environment, despite India's improved access to the world market, Russia remains our principal partner," Modi told Russian news agency Itar-Taas.

    Follow @ETDefence Twitter handle for comprehensive coverage on other buzzing Defence stories

    Noting that Russia provided defence equipment to India and international support when few were willing to hold its hands, the Prime Minister said, "Indians will never forget the Russian support that we got when we needed it the most."


    India and Russia are likely to ink a number of pacts in a range of sectors including defence and nuclear energy during Modi's two-day visit here beginning today for the annual Summit level talks with President Vladimir Putin.

    Asserting that the Indo-Russia defence ties have been transformed "from a buyer seller relationship to one involving joint research, development and production of advanced systems" such as the Brahmos missile, Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft and T-90 tanks, Modi saidRussia has the potential to be the leading partner in Make in India mission in defence sector.

    "We are soon going to make a beginning in that direction," Modi said.

    "We are also working together for joint manufacture of defence equipment and components in India under the Make in India initiative," he added.

    India's assurance to Russia comes at a time when it has developed a closer defence ties with the US and Russia made overtures to Pakistan in recent months for the first time.

    On the civil nuclear cooperation, Modi said India is committed to construct at least 12 nuclear power plants having highest safety standards in the world with Russian assistance.

    "Energy security is critical to India's economic development and Russia is a key partner in this area. Nuclear energy is an important component of our energy security strategy. Russia is currently our leading international partner. Our cooperation with Russia in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is a cornerstone of our strategic partnership," he said replying to a question.

    "I am glad that the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project has become operational, and is set to expand. I believe our cooperation in the area of nuclear energy will continue to grow. After Kudankulam, we are finalising a second site for for Russian-designed reactors in India," he said.


    "We have outlined an ambitious vision for nuclear energy and construction of at least 12 reactors, which will have the highest safety standards in the world," Modi added.


    The Prime Minister said the strengths of Russia in science and technology, military technology and nuclear energy among others complement the large market of India, expanding economy and demand of its young population.


    "This provides us with the confidence that we can take forward our existing dynamic partnership," he added.

    On cooperation between the two sides on international and regional forums, Modi said a strong international partnership has been the hallmark of the bilateral ties and the Russian support in international forums, including in the UN Security Council, through the decades is deeply valued in India.

    "Today, our international cooperation has widened. We work together in a number of international forums, including BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (where Russian support helped in a decision on India's full membership this year), G 20 and East Asia Summit.

    "BRICS, which was launched by President Putin, is making a major contribution to international finance and trade, development finance, international terrorism, climate change, food security and sustainable development," he said.

    "In both SCO and East Asia Summit, we can work together in advancing peace and prosperity in two major regions of the world, where we both have vital stakes. Multipolarity is a global reality. India and Russia represent two faces of a multi-polar world. We want to work with Russia not just for our bilateral interests, but but also for a peaceful, stable and sustainable world," the Prime Minister added.

    On economic ties, Modi said there is potential to further strengthen the Indo-Russia relations in the field of trade and investments.

    "Our bilateral trade, though growing, has not achieved its full potential. We have committed to increase this to $30 billion by 2025. Similarly we are committed to increase our investments to $15 billion each by 2025," he said.

    Read more at:
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50296433.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

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    Russia Continues Active Strategic Partnership Development With India

    Post  Pinto on Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:21 pm

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said that relations between Russia and India are developing in all directions.


    Russia Sees Prospects in Supplying India With LNG - Moscow

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia and India continue actively promoting strategic partnership and coordinating political and economic activities, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday during talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    "We are consistently and confidently developing privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia," Putin said. "These relations are developing in all directions. This applies to issues of policy, coordinating our efforts in the international arena, the economy, and cooperation in humanitarian fields."

    Putin highlighted the countries’ active inter parliamentary and intergovernmental commission work, and emphasized the importance of addressing issues that require special attention in light of a complicated economic climate.

    Putin Brings Russia to a 'New Level' on International Arena – Indian PM
    "It should be noted that your visit is very timely, though planned, but timely in light of the need to ‘compare notes’ on the main directions of our cooperation," he address Modi.

    Modi arrived in Moscow for a two-day visit on Wednesday to hold talks with Putin on a range of bilateral issues, including transport, trade, energy, and the economy. The meeting is expected to result in the signing of a number of documents aimed at increasing trade and economic cooperation between the sides.

    Russia and India enjoy good relations dating back to the 1960s. Moscow is among New Delhi’s foremost post-Cold War era military suppliers. The sides have boosted trade, military-technical and nuclear cooperation over the past year.


    Read more:


    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151224/1032255958/russia-india-putin-modi.html#ixzz3vFRUK4lb

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    Putin Brings Russia to a 'New Level' on International Arena – Indian PM

    Post  Pinto on Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:22 pm

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has greatly contributed to Russia’s progress in the international arena, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, Modi arrived in Moscow for a two-day visit to hold talks with Putin on a range of bilateral issues, including transport, trade, energy, and the economy.

    "Under your leadership, despite the opposition against Russia, you have raised your country to a qualitatively new level… I praise your personal leadership in this process," Modi told the Russian president.

    The Indian prime minister also extended his condolences in connection to the Russian A321 crash in Egypt in October and the downing of a Russian Su-24 aircraft by a Turkish fighter jet in Syria in November.

    In return, the Russian leader noted the progress being made in interparliamentary relations and intergovernmental commissions between the two states.

    Putin and Modi's meeting is expected to result in the signing of a number of documents aimed at increasing trade and economic cooperation between the sides.



    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151224/1032252265/putin-russia-modi-meeting.html#ixzz3vFRwis8w

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    Why India and Russia will be Best Friends Forever

    Post  Pinto on Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:30 pm

    http://in.rbth.com/blogs/stranger_than_fiction/2015/12/24/why-india-and-russia-will-be-best-friends-forever_554327


    For more than 50 years the two countries have nurtured a friendship that is exceptional in a world of fickle loyalties.






    The India-Russia connection is the only bilateral relationship that is referred to as friendship. For more than five decades, people from both countries have had warm feelings towards each other, and although the fervour of the 1970s and 1980s has faded somewhat, there still remains the recognition of each other as reliable partners. It is for this reason that Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in December 2014, during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India: “Even a child in India, if asked to say who is India’s best friend, will reply it is Russia because Russia has been with India in times of crisis.”

    There are, of course, other strong bilateral partnerships in the world. The most famous one is the US-UK Special Relationship, but it has now degraded to a master-poodle equation. Then there is the China-Pakistan All-Weather Friendship, but again it remains a patron-client association.

    India and Russia started off with India being a poor country completely dependent on Russia for weapons, technology and industrial investment. New Delhi also required Moscow’s diplomatic and military support during the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan. Today India has a larger economy than Russia but they continue to work together as equal partners. The relationship has evolved over the past 50 years but the underlying nature of the friendship hasn’t changed much.

    Here are six reasons why India and Russia are BFF (best friends forever):

    Indians and Russians are more alike than you think


    Indians and Russians are lively and emotional people – mainly at the personal level.
    Amid strangers and colleagues they are reserved and hierarchical. Family life is a very important aspect of life in both countries.

    On both the micro and macro levels, the affinity between Russia and India can be attributed to ancient connections. The similarity between Sanskrit and Russian are too uncanny to be ignored. For instance, take the most famous Russian word – vodka. It has its origins in the Classical Sanskrit word for water – ‘udaka.’

    Since Sanskrit is the oldest language in the world, it is likely Russian is the result of ancient Indians taking their language and culture from the banks of the Saraswati river to the Urals. The discovery of Shiva statues in Central Asia and Russia points to the spread of ancient Vedic culture far beyond the Indian heartland.

    Indians – being part of the Indo-European genetic pool – are among the most European of Asians. Russians are the Easternmost Europeans and Leo Tolstoy refers to his country as the “great Asiatic nation”. Basically, the Indian and Russian DNAs overlap and that’s where the similarities and affinities spring from.

    India and Russia can never be geopolitical rivals

    India and Russia have a shared strategic interest in stability in the vast Eurasian landmass. Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine are some of the key areas where their interests converge. Not many Indians realise that Ukraine is a hub of defence industries that are vital to the servicing of Indian defence equipment, including An-32 transport aircraft.

    Because India and Russia do not share a border, they do not share the attendant problems such as boundary and water sharing issues. The chances of both countries coming into direct confrontation are next to zero.

    Chanakya, the 3rd century BCE master of statecraft, assessed that at least one neighbour of a country will be a natural enemy. According to his ‘Rajamandala’ theory of foreign policy, immediate neighbours are considered enemies, but any state on the other side of a neighbouring state is regarded as an ally. Going by this theory, if China and Pakistan are hostile to India, then they can be counteracted through Russia and Afghanistan.

    Synergy in energy

    Russia is the No.1 producer of energy and India is the world’s third largest consumer, after the US and China. Despite the global recession, there has been no let-up in India’s energy consumption, with the country having a limitless appetite for oil, gas and nuclear fuel. As Russia is the largest producer of these fuels, its strategy should neatly dovetail with India’s quest for energy security.

    The reason it hasn’t so far is because of the tyranny of distance. While Europe and China – and lately Japan – have benefitted from Russian pipelines that ensure a steady and reliable source of oil and gas, India continues to be a hostage to the volatile Middle Eastern energy producers.

    During the 1980s, Russia was India’s strategic supplier of petroleum plus Moscow accepted payment in rupees. Today India is rich and can afford to pay in dollars, therefore, it does not buy much energy from Russia. That could change with the mother of all pipelines being planned direct from Russia across the Himalayas.

    Unlike an oil tanker, a pipeline cannot be rerouted so pipelines have a habit of locking countries into a long-term geopolitical embrace. The new energy linkages are going to increase the BFF factor further.

    Defence technology: Welcome to arms

    Russia and India have transacted military sales for decades. While the West has slapped sanctions on India, Moscow continues to be a reliable supplier of high-end weapons and a source of cutting-edge missile technology. Russian technology and specialists have helped India leapfrog a couple of generations and produce best-in-class missiles such as BrahMos and Akash. The Prithvi is also based on Russian technology.

    While most countries export stripped down versions of their latest weapons, Russia has made an exception for India, with the Sukhoi Su-30MKI jet fighter, which is more advanced than its own Su-27s. The S-400 missile defence system is the latest in a long line of potent weapons that Russia has offered India.

    At the height of the Cold War, 85 per cent of Indian Navy, 75 per cent of Indian Air Force and over 50 per cent of Indian Army equipment was of Russian origin. While the overall percentage of Russian hardware has declined today, Moscow’s presence in the Indian defence market is still dominant. It is the only country that can meet India’s future needs – fifth generation stealth fighters (Sukhoi PAK-FA), nuclear submarines or aircraft carriers.

    Standing up for each other

    In 1979 when Russia invaded Afghanistan, India refused to criticise Moscow. There was a lot of heartburn in the West because of this. Indians were described as hypocritical for being a champion of freedom but looking away when the bear attacked a South Asian country.

    But India was simply paying back Russia for its support during the 1971 War when the US, UK, France, Jordan, UAE, Turkey, Indonesia, China and several other western and Muslim countries backed Pakistan. It was a war which was forced upon India after the Pakistanis murdered 3 million of their own Bengali citizens. While the western democracies supported Islamabad, Russia vetoed US-sponsored resolutions that blamed India. Further, military intervention by Russia’s Pacific Fleet prevented a joint US-British attack on Indian cities.

    New Delhi has continued to back Moscow during the Ukrainian and Syrian crises, refusing to support US and EU sanctions. India’s National Security Adviser unequivocally declared that Russia had “legitimate” interests in Ukraine. Asked on CNN how he viewed Russia’s action in Crimea, Prime Minister Modi responded: “In the world right now, a lot of people want to give advice, but look within them, and they, too, have sinned in some way.

    Exceptional behaviour

    Unlike the West, or more specifically the US, which suffers from a “God Complex”, India and Russia do not believe they are exceptional nations that should impose their beliefs on the rest of the world. During the Soviet era, Moscow never imposed Orthodox Christianity or Russian values on any of the republics. Yes, Russification was official state policy but it did not result in the eclipse of, say, Ukrainian or Kazakh identity. Similarly, India doesn’t impose Hinduism on the world. Indians are inclusive by nature.

    Again, Russian businesses are not a cover for the SVR, Russia's external intelligence agency. Edward Snowden has revealed how consultants working for American corporations are in reality NSA and CIA agents. Similarly, western churches have long been doing dirty work for the CIA and its allied spy agencies in the West. It seems nothing has changed since the colonial period when the clergy and traders provided advance intelligence and supplies for invading western fleets.

    The cult of American Exceptionalism is based on the belief that all cultures are inferior to America’s. Indians, who are still feeling the effects of two centuries of British colonialism, are especially sensitive to such notions of foreign powers.

    India’s experience with European powers is that Russia is the only country that does not believe in misguided notions of exceptionalism. It is precisely why the two countries can trust each other and work together.

    http://in.rbth.com/economics/cooperation/2015/12/23/russia-remains-our-principal-partner-narendra-modi_553845

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    Russia plans to build at least 6 nuclear power units in India in 20 years: Vladimir Putin

    Post  Pinto on Thu Dec 24, 2015 6:46 pm

    MOSCOW: Russia plans to build at least six new nuclear power units in India in the next 20 years, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

    Speaking after talks with visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Putin also said that Moscow and New Delhi were successfully cooperating in production of Brahmos missiles and planned to produce jointly a new type of jet fighter and transport aircraft.


    Read more at:
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50315103.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

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    India strengthens strategic partnership with ‘reliable friend’ Russia

    Post  Pinto on Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:21 pm

    India and Russia signed 16 agreements on defence, nuclear energy and other key areas during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow, with the two sides announcing that Russia plans to build at least six new nuclear power units in India, in addition to inking key deals like the production of BrahMos missiles and the attack chopper Kamov-226 in India.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Day 2 of his visit to Moscow, conveyed to Russian President Vladimir Putin that their summit talks would give a fresh impetus to the bilateral relations between India and Russia, referring to Moscow as New Delhi’s “strong and reliable” friend.

    As part of the annual India-Russia summit, Modi and Putin held a one-on-one meeting before they were joined by their respective delegations. The two sides continued their deliberations over lunch at the Kremlin before they signed the agreements.

    “India and Russia have a long history of cultural relations. And now we have a strong and reliable friend on the political and international arena — Russia. Russia has always been with us in hard times. We have a strategic partnership, a true strategic partnership,” Modi said at the summit.
    Modi invited Russian CEOs to invest in Indian infrastructure and aerospace sectors, among others, stating that his government had created a favourable environment to boost economic growth.

    Hailing the “strong collaboration” between India and Russia in the United Nations, Modi also recognised the understanding shared by New Delhi and Moscow in the BRICS, the East Asia Summit, the G20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

    The PM also discussed global terror, calling for the world to unite against the scourge without distinction or discrimination between terrorist groups and target countries. Expressing his condolences over the death of over 200 Russian citizens in a plane crash in Egypt in October, Modi also mentioned the recent downing of a Russian military jet on the Syria-Turkey border.

    Putin, in his opening remarks during the meeting with Modi, said, “I am pleased to note, and I am happy to do that, that we are consistently and confidently developing the privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia.” He expressed happiness over the two countries going ahead “consistently and confidently” in developing the privileged strategic partnership.

    Putin announced that Russia planned to build at least six new nuclear power units in India over 20 years. The Russian President said Moscow and New Delhi were successfully cooperating in the production of Brahmos missiles and planned to jointly produce the Kamov 226 military helicopter, a major boost to the Make in India initiative.

    The Russian President conveyed his country’s “strong support” to New Delhi’s bid for permanent membership of the UN security council, calling India a “deserving and strong candidate” that could bring an “independent and responsible approach” within the global body.

    A joint statement said the two sides confirmed their interest in intensifying cultural cooperation, announcing the organisation of a festival of Russian culture in India in 2016. The two countries affirmed the need for enhancing cooperation in the information sphere, welcoming a memorandum of understanding signed between Russian state-owned broadcaster VGTRK and Prasar Bharti for exchange of news and other content.

    Modi started his second day in Moscow with a tour of EMERCOM, the Russian national crisis management centre, where he interacted with officials at their state-of-the-art office.

    Later, the Prime Minister laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Alexandrovski Cad, a war memorial dedicated to Soviet soldiers who died in World War 2.

    Putin, while hosting Modi for a tete-a-tete at the Kremlin, presented the visiting dignitary with a page from Mahatma Gandhi’s diary and an 18th century sword from Bengal.

    Modi later took to Twitter to share his appreciation for the gifts.

    “President Putin gifted me a page from Gandhiji’s diary containing Bapu’s handwritten notes,” Modi posted.

    “President Putin also gifted an 18th century sword from Bengal, featuring intricate silver artwork. I thank him for the gifts,” he added.

    Modi arrived in Moscow on Wednesday night and was accorded a red carpet welcome. After the welcome, Putin hosted a dinner for the visiting dignitary, where both leaders touched upon issues of mutual interest for both countries.
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/india-strengthens-strategic-partnership-with-reliable-friend-russia/story-oCOszHkGABGpdqDAnr16DO.html


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    Re: Russia - India Strategic Relationship: News

    Post  max steel on Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:39 pm

    Russia offers India new Pak-Fa deal

    Russia has made a new offer on the delivery of Sukhoi T-50 (PAK FA) fighter jets to India under the joint fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) initiative.
    Under the new offer, India will have to pay $3.7 billion, instead of $6 billion, for the technological know-how and three prototypes of PAK FA fighters. The proposal awaits a decision from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual India-Russia summit this week.

    India and Russia had signed an inter-governmental agreement to co-develop and co-produce the FGFA in 2007, which was followed by the $295 million preliminary design contract in December 2010. Modelled on the successful Brahmos missile project, the project involves Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The overall FGFA project cost for making 127 single-seat fighters in India has been estimated to be around $30 billion.

    The final design contract, under which both sides were to contribute an initial $6 billion each for prototype development and production, has not been signed between India and Russia so far. Meanwhile, Russia has gone ahead with the development of PAK FA and claims that it will enter service with the Russian Air Force in 2016, and enter serial production in 2017.

    “Now that they already have the fighter, the Russians have made a revised offer to us. For $3.7 billion, they will give us all the technological know-how of making the fighter. We will also get three prototypes from them in that amount,” a senior defence ministry official said.
    But the Indian Air Force (IAF) remains opposed to the idea. A senior IAF official said, “We are not in favour of the FGFA. The PAK FA fighter is too expensive at even this rate, and we are not sure of its capabilities.”

    Sources said the Russian offer is driven by Moscow’s cash crunch and lack of firm orders with its defence industry.



    Why Russians won't give nuclear attack submarine to Modi


    The requirement of its Navy takes priority.Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to Russia with a wish-list of defence equipment to buy. The Russians are pretty much willing to sell whatever we want, but one item wont be coming our way for a bit.

    It is the Yasen-class submarine, the newest Russian nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine. Based on the Akula-class submarine (like INS Chakra) and the Alfa-class submarines, it is projected to replace Russia's Soviet-era attack submarines like the Akula and Oscar-class. The Russians began building these submarines only in 2011 and can build only one a year at the best.

    The Russian Navy's requirement takes priority. They have three more under construction, and one more - Kazan - is expected to join the fleet soon. The Russian Navy has only one of this class of submarine in operation - the Severodvinsk - which has impressed the US Navy as a particularly dangerous foe as it is very quiet and fast.

    It seems the Russians are also reluctant to co-manufacture this in India under "Make in India".India could turn to France, but the new class of Barracuda nuclear attack submarines too are in an advanced stage of development, like the Russian Yasen class. So what they have available is the 1980s' design Rubis class, perhaps inferior to the Russian Akula.

    The USA has time and again expressed unwillingness to cooperate in manufacturing or transferring its nuclear powered submarines, as they will not be able to get Congressional approval.

    So, that leaves us with only the Russian Akula class, of which we already have one. The Russians have one more available for us immediately. I think we can expect some traction on this for now. And then hope for the best. And to the tender mercies of Anil Ambani who now owns the Pipapav Shipyard.

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    Where does India's strategic & defence relationship with Russia stand in a world of two superpowers?

    Post  Pinto on Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:40 pm

    By Konstantin Makienko

    India's military-political relations and arms trade with the United States have been on a rapid rise in recent years. That begs the question of whether the special relationship between India and Russia in those two areas is now a thing of the past. It appears that the United States has become the No 1 arms supplier to India in terms of the value of new contracts, wresting that position from Russia. Recent American success in the Indian defense market isbased on two fundamental shifts. First, India and the United States have become closer in terms of military policy as they share the goal of containing China. Second, India's rapid economic growth has bolstered its purshasing power, and the Indian military, therefore, has a growing preference for more high-tech and expensive weapon systems.

    Analysis of recent Indian defense contracts shows, however, that the country has in fact opted for American weaponry only in those product categories where Russia simply has no competitive alternatives to offer. These categories include medium and heavy military transport planes, cutting-edge airborne anti-submarine systems, and effective attack and heavy transport helicopters that have already been tried and tested in real combat. Meanwhile, India continues to place orders for Russian medium medium transport helicopters, and the HAL corporation has secured an Indian MoD contract for another batch of 42 Su-30MKI fighters in 2012. Early reports suggest that large contracts may soon be signed for modern Russian air defense systems. Meanwhile, US fighters have not even been shortlisted for the second phase of India's MMRCA tender, clearly indicating that the Americans are nowhere near dominating the Indian defense market.

    It appears in fact that the recent string of large Indian arms contracts secured by US suppliers is nothing but an extension of India's long-standing policy of diversification in this area. The Indian defense market has always been open and competitive. Even though the Soviet Union and then Russia have managed to secure a large chunk of it, they have never had a monopoly. Even in the 1980s they had to compete head to head with the French and the Germans, followed by the Israelis in the 1990s, and now the Americans as well.
    The military-political and financial context has been changing, but India has been unwavering in its policy of diversification of arms and defense technology imports.

    The macro-strategic context

    To predict what the future holds for Russian-Indian arms trade, let us look at the strategic context of that trade. The first thing to note is that the two countries' military-political stance in the global arena is strikingly similar. First, they have both transcended the level of mere regional powers, albeit neither is a superpower (not anymore in the case of Russia, and not yet in the case of India). The sources of their strength are different: India has a dynamic economy and favorable demographics, whereas Russia has a superior nuclear arsenal and vast natural resources. Nevertheless, both countries have a similar potential for regional dominance, though neither quite has the resources to be a top-tier global actor.

    The second obvious similarity is that in their respective geopolitical neighborhoods, which India and Russia regard as zones of their vital interests, both countries are facing energetic opposition from an external superpower that seeks to create a cordon sanitaire around our countries, respectively. In the case of Russia the external superpower is the United States, which continues to meddle in the former Soviet republics. In the case of India the external superpower is China, which is trying to surround India with a ring of naval bases.


    The similarity between US and Chinese policies becomes even more obvious if one takes into account that both are making use of states that are ethnically and culturally part of Russia and India, but seek to build their identity opposing Russia and India in every possible way. I am talking, of course, about Ukraine and Pakistan, respectively. These two artificial constructs are trying to build their historical legitimacy purely on the basis of Russophobia and Indophobia. Pakistan is to India what Ukraine is to Russia. And, conversely, Ukraine is to Russia what Pakistan is to India. Both of those failed states are economically bankrupt, and both would have already ceased to exist, were it not for the military-political and economic assistance they receive from extra-regional powers.


    The third similarity is that both the Indian and Russian military-political situation can be described as "strategic solitude". Neither country is a member of a military bloc and neither aspires for such membership. Strictly speaking, Russia is the leading member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization - but the military value of most of its formal CSTO allies is negligible. As for the two CSTO members that are not military midgets - Belarus and Kazakhstan - their loyalty as allies is questionable at best. Both India and Russia advocate a new poly-centric international system. They both oppose the idea of a world dominated by a single superpower.

    At the same time, there has been a clear trend in recent years whereby India and Russia are being attracted by the pull of two opposite centers of gravity in the nascent bi-polar world. America's policy of trying to isolate Russia and thwarting Russian attempts to remedy the geopolitical consequences of the national catastrophe that befell the country in 1991 is already resulting in a fairly unnatural state of affairs: Russia is turning into a Chinese satellite. Meanwhile, China's growing military presence in Tibet, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar is pushing India into America's embrace.


    It may appear to some that these two trends, if continued, should eventually lead to India and Russia becoming members of two rival alliances - which would obviously be bad for their defense technology relationship. In actuality, however, the formation of a bi-polar Sino-American world should be a major incentive for our two countries to forge a closer relationship. In truth, it does not even matter whether America and China treat each other as rivals or partners in that bi-polar world.If Washington and Beijing prefer to work together, the case for a closer Indian-Russian relationship becomes even more clear-cut.



    India and Russia are too big and too powerful to play second fiddle to any global superpower. In view of their history, potential, and ambitions, both aspire for the role of dominant regional actors at the very least. But if we are to be able to compete head-to-head with the superpowers, our two countries should become force multipliers to each other. Right now, we are force multipliers for the United States and China, respectively - and this must change.

    The military-political agenda for the future


    In practical terms, defense technology cooperation between India and Russia and their informal military-political alliance must pursue two related goals. First, our two countries should form an integrated defense technology market, and second, the scope of our defense technology cooperation should include not only conventional weapons but also strategic and sub-strategic systems.

    As far as the first goal is concerned, India and Russia have already made a lot of progress and accumulated a wealth of invaluable experience. Their joint project to develop, manufacture, and market the BrahMos heavy supersonic cruise missile has been a phenomenal success. Their joint Su-30MKI fighter program is also going strong, and the two countries have launched a joint fifth-generation fighter program. The available Russian defense technology plays an important role in Indian policymaking in this area - but, conversely, Indian demand has become an extremely important factor in Russia's own defense procurement programs. Russian MoD contracts for such weapons systems as the Su-30SM, the MiG-29 carrier-based fighter, the Talwar-class frigate, and the T-90A main battle tank would have been impossible if India had not already placed orders for those weapons.

    Our two countries also have a record of cooperation in sub-strategic and strategic systems. The Indian Navy is already operating its second Russian nuclear multirole submarine; the third boat will follow in the foreseeable future. Two years ago, India took delivery of the Russian-built INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, the largest warship ever built for export. These examples alone demonstrate beyond a doubt that India and Russia have a very special defense technology relationship, even though Russia is nowhere near becoming a monopolist on the Indian defense market.


    In my view, that relationship should be nurtured and extended to new areas of cooperation. These areas might include developing an Indian missile attack early warning system, improving the accuracy and effectiveness of Indian medium-range missiles, deploying an Indian missile defense system, strengthening the naval component of the Indian nuclear triad, and creating the airborne component of that triad. All these measures would certainly be in both India's and Russia's national interests as they would help to preserve a global balance - and therefore safeguard global security.

    Konstantin Makienko is Deputy Director, CAST (Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies), Moscow

    Read more at:
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50407554.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst


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    Modi-Putin Meet Signals New Dimensions For Indo-Russian Partnership

    Post  Pinto on Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:54 pm

    Three developments emerged clearly from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Moscow for the 16th Indo-Russian annual summit with President Vladimir Putin.

    First, making bilateral ties more broad-based by giving the economic partnership between the two nations its due importance. Secondly, efforts towards transforming Indo-Russian strategic ties from a buyer-seller relationship to that of a partnership. And finally, restoring the exclusivity of Indo-Russian ties irrespective of any foreign policy transformation that each may undergo.

    Before Mr Modi departed for Moscow a number of analysts said India's ties with Russia are top heavy -- leaning too much on the politico-strategic aspect, leaving its base shallow with no significant civilian or commercial contact.

    Modi seems to have taken a good note of it as is evident from the 16 agreements signed across diverse sectors, including the manufacturing of nuclear reactors, solar energy plants, railways and helicopter.

    Modi, in a stark departure from the usual framework of a bilateral summit, intentionally included the private sector in the strategic partnership.
    It is amazing how despite a huge potential of economic interdependence, bilateral trade between India and Russia is only $10 billion.

    Russia, today, is at an interesting economic crossroad. It has not only reached the second year of Western sanctions, but is also going through an all time low with one of its significant trade partners -- Turkey.

    As both sides aspire to take bilateral trade to $30 billion in the next 10 years, Modi in his bilateral press statement said, "I see Russia as a significant partner in India's economic transformation."

    On India's part, the first step it could take is to identify the opportunities left open by the West and Turkey in Russia.

    Moscow is also a gateway for India to Central Asia. In this regard a significant move by PM Modi was the effort to move forward on the India-Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

    The FTA between India and the EEU -- comprising Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan -- offers India access to a huge market with a population of over 180 million, with a joint GDP of an estimated $2.7 trillion.

    As Russia tries to re-calibrate its economic orientation towards the Asian region, India, as one of the fastest growing G20 economies can be a significant partner for Russia. Experts say India's National Infrastructure Fund provides a major investment opportunity to Russian "big-pocketed billionaires" currently facing hurdles to break through the traditional European financial markets.

    In a joint statement with Mr Modi, President Putin emphasised, "High tech, Innovation, energy, aircraft building, pharma and diamonds promising areas for India Russia cooperation."

    Steps towards building a more versatile Indo-Russian partnership was already laid in 2014 when the two countries announced a 'Druzhba-Dosti' vision.

    Overall strategic cooperation remained the dominant factor in the bilateral summit. But this time there was a clear thrust on localised manufacturing.

    Modi's pet project "Make in India" got a major boost as the agreement to manufacture Kamov 226 helicopters in India was sealed. The deal was cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar in May this year.

    As per the IGA, 60 helicopters will be supplied by Russia in fly-away condition while 140 of them will be produced in India

    Additionally, India and Russia also moved forward on the agreement to build 12 Russian nuclear reactors. According to a programme of action agreed between India's Department of Atomic Energy and the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom), there will be localisation of manufacturing in India of Russian-designed nuclear reactor units.

    [T]he Indo-Russian partnership should gather more steam in 2016, especially as announcements concerning a number of big-ticket deals including S-400 are yet to be done.
    Observers say, Modi, in a stark departure from the usual framework of a bilateral summit, intentionally included the private sector in the strategic partnership. This was to ensure that Make in India is a significant component of the deals India signs with Russia.

    Several major defence-sector CEOs including ones from Reliance and TATAs accompanied the PM at the bilateral summit. For now, India is likely to emerge as a potential destination for the Russian defence sector for its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) projects.

    In fact, a significant outcome on the sidelines of the Modi-Putin summit was the signing of a manufacturing and maintenance deal potentially worth $6 billion between Reliance Defence and Russia's Almaz-Antey, the maker of an air defence system.

    Additionally, the Deputy Minister Andrey Boginskiy of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade had said that Russian Helicopters and its subsidiaries and component manufacturers are ready to supply kits for assembly in India as well as to localise production.

    India, which accounted for 28% of Russian military equipment exports in 2014, can expect a joint venture with Russia's top aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi for the maintenance and spares production of its combat aircraft Su30.

    The Tata Group is reportedly in advanced stage of talks with Sukhoi to set up a joint venture to manufacture spares for Sukhoi fighters in India.

    However Russia still remains hesitant in transferring technical know-how for its advanced military systems like the S-400 air defence missile systems, known as one of the "crown jewels" of Russia's defence capability.

    [W]ith a diversified supplier base India is at a better position today to negotiate deals with Russia especially concerning technology transfer and co-production.
    While India's ability to absorb the technical complexity has been cited as one of the reasons, another probable cause could be New Delhi's recent diversification of its defence ties, especially with the US.

    Similarly the closer defence partnership between Russia and Pakistan hasn't gone down too well with India.

    However, the current summit hints towards a certain two-way expectation that both India and Russia will maintain a balance and be sensitive to each other's interests as they go about transforming their geopolitical or bilateral postures. That's what Putin's statement seems to underscore when he called India "a great power carrying out a balanced and responsible foreign policy."

    Going forward, the Indo-Russian partnership should gather more steam in 2016, especially as announcements concerning a number of big-ticket deals including S-400 are yet to be done. Needless to say, defence will remain at the centre-stage of the bilateral relationship, although with a diversified supplier base India is at a better position today to negotiate deals with Russia especially concerning technology transfer and co-production.

    This article was first published in BBC (Hindi)


    http://www.huffingtonpost.in/jhinuk-chowdhury/indorussian-ties-exclusiv_b_8878268.html

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    Re: Russia - India Strategic Relationship: News

    Post  JohninMK on Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:51 pm

    A bit more detail on the KA-226T deal.

    Russian state firm Rostec will work with Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to build 200 or more Kamov KA-226T “Sergei” light utility helicopters. The helicopters will be built at a new HAL facility to be constructed in Tumakuru, a city that lies 100 kilometres to the northwest of Bengaluru, where HAL’s headquarters are located, says the Indian airframer.

    In May 2015, New Delhi’s Defence Acquisition Council selected the KA-226T for a long running requirement for 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters. The army and air force have had pending requirements for over a decade to acquire 133 and 64 RSH aircraft, respectively, to replace their obsolescent Cheetah and Chetak light helicopters.

    "The agreement with India is the result of long work with our Indian partners,” says Sergei Chemezov, chief executive of Rostec State Corporation. “This is the first Russian-Indian high-tech project, implemented by the Indian government within the framework of the "Make in India” programme. The organization for the manufacture of helicopters is provided by the creation of a Russian-Indian joint venture in India, which includes holdings of Rostec - JSC "Rosoboronexport" and "Russian Helicopters", and on the India side – the corporation HAL.”

    The deal was signed at a ceremony in Moscow attended by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin.


    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/rostec-to-aid-hal-with-indigenous-ka-226t-production-420418/

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    Russia to conduct joint exercises with China, India and Egypt in 2016

    Post  Pinto on Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:52 am

    Russia plans to conduct joint tactical naval exercises with China, Egypt, India, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan this year.




    Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan will be partnering with Russia for the first time.
    The 2016 exercise will include live-firing from coastal missile systems in the Arctic by navy coastal troops.

    Russian navy deputy commander-in-chief was quoted by the Tass news agency as saying: "The navy's coastal troops will hold brigade-level tactical exercises in 2016 involving an Arctic motor rifle brigade and a research tactical exercise with a live fire from coastal missile systems in the Arctic zone."

    "The navy's coastal troops will hold brigade-level tactical exercises in 2016."
    Russia and Egypt conducted their first joint naval exercise in June 2015, when they focused on measures to safeguard shipping routes.

    The 2016 exercise between the two countries will be coming after a Russian plane carrying tourists crashed in Egypt late last year, in a suspected bomb blast by terrorists.

    In December, Russian Navy ships and personnel were in India to participate in the annual Indra exercise.

    Russian paratroopers are also planning to conduct joint exercises with Egypt, Serbia, India, and Belarus this year.

    The country is currently in talks with Mongolia over the Selenga-2016 exercise in February.

    Representatives of the two countries are to decide on the scenario of the exercise and number of forces involved. Selenga has been conducted annually since 2008.

    http://www.naval-technology.com/news/newsrussia-to-conduct-joint-exercises-with-china-india-and-egypt-in-2016-4791153

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    Re: Russia - India Strategic Relationship: News

    Post  George1 on Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:22 am

    First Unit of Russia-India Kudankulam NPP Reconnected to Grid

    The first unit of the Russia-designed Kudankulam nuclear power plant (NPP) was connected to the grid, a source in the Indian nuclear industry said on Monday.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — In early February, the unit has been stopped for inspection over the signal of a possible malfunction.

    "Today, at 8.15 a.m. [02:45 GMT], the first unit of the Kudankulam NPP has been connected to the grid. Now the station generates 300 MW of energy, a gradual rise in power continues," the source told RIA Novosti.

    The construction of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant was initially agreed by the Soviet Union and India in 1988, but the project was in limbo until the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Rosatom relaunched the much-delayed joint project in 2012.

    Kudankulam's first unit reached full capacity in July 2014, and is currently India’s most powerful reactor with a maximum operating capacity of 1,000 megawatt.

    The second unit is nearing completion and is expected to be launched this year. The construction of the third and the fourth units is planned for 2016.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/asia/20160222/1035150942/kudankulam-russia-india-nuclear-energy.html#ixzz40sobJ2s0


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    Re: Russia - India Strategic Relationship: News

    Post  Austin on Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:52 am

    Indian ambassador: we are determined to develop the closest relations with Russia

    http://ria.ru/interview/20160224/1379594871.html

    The new Indian ambassador in Moscow Pankaj Saran said in an interview with RIA Novosti on the prospects of cooperation between Russia and India in the energy and intent to New Delhi to sign an association agreement with the Eurasian Union


    India is set to develop a very close relationship with Russia, in the current conditions of the country simply can not afford to ignore each other, according to the new Ambassador of India in Moscow Pankaj Saran. In his first interview to Russian media, he told the special correspondent of RIA Novosti Pauline Chernitsov whether New Delhi to expand exports of agricultural products to Russia, what are the prospects of cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector, but also said that New Delhi is set to sign an association agreement with the Eurasian Union.

    - Mr. Saran, this is your first interview after his appointment as ambassador to Russia. How do you assess the prospects of tenure? And in general, you see the prospects of development of bilateral relations, especially in view of the results of the last summit, held in December?

    - Relations between Russia and India - are special, unique and multi-vector - the test of time. They cover almost all areas, and New Delhi is set to develop relations with its strategic partner. We have already managed to do many things: the last Russian-Indian summit, when in December 2015 met our leaders Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin, has been extremely successful and culminated in a number of agreements signed.

    Just a couple of days will be a month of my stay in Russia, in Moscow. I began my career in Moscow in 1984. Then it was the Soviet Union, of course, it was a completely different country, a different time. And, in general, throughout the world, the situation was completely different. And now, having returned here after 32 years old, I want to say that for me it is an honor and a privilege. And I can see that much has changed in Russia, it is for the economy, culture and influence in the world - around the same time, Russia has increased significantly. Russia is our strategic privileged partner, and I am very happy that now I am an ambassador in such an important country for us. While serving as the Ambassador of India, I will strive to develop these relationships and ensure implementation of decisions.

    As you know, we in India are now the new government, this government sold themselves to maintain the close, the best relations with Russia. For me personally is a huge inspiration to be here as an ambassador and to do everything possible to promote these relations further. We know that there is great potential and opportunities for further rapprochement between India and Russia, and I think that there should be a greater role in the younger generation.

    In cooperation between our countries, we will first try to bring people together. Russia has a very rich history, culture and civilization. The same can be said about India. In Russia, it was very much written about India, it has inspired Russian intellectuals. And that is why we must continue to work done. And in any case, neither India nor Russia should not neglect each other, they can not afford it.

    But the most important thing in this relationship - to create and increase contacts between people.

    - Do you see the prospects for the growth of trade with the Russian Federation in the coming year? Due to some sectors can be achieved a breakthrough?

    - Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin set a goal to increase bilateral trade to $ 30 billion by 2025. Both sides intend to expand bilateral economic and trade cooperation, and we are working to achieve this goal. We will do everything possible for that. We have identified seven priority areas, such as pharmaceuticals, jewelry, technical equipment and machinery, oil and gas, textiles and garments, agricultural sphere - all of them are potential sectors for cooperation to help achieve the stated goals.

    - Are there any current negotiations to increase the export of Indian meat and dairy products in Russia?


    - India has already started to export bufflo meat in Russia, where the product has been well received. With regard to the expansion of supply, we are the largest exporter and, of course, everything depends on the demand in Russia. I am sure that if there is demand, our exporters will be happy to increase their supply. If need be, we are ready to export more.

    Also, we are now in the process of negotiations to obtain the necessary permits to begin exports of dairy products

    - At what stage are the negotiations to expand the settlements in national currencies between Russia and India? As in India evaluated the proposal of the Russian Federation on mutual national currencies within the BRICS group? Will this measure is to reduce the risk associated with dollar payments?

    - The organization of settlements using national currencies of the BRICS looks promising. And now the Russian and Indian companies have shown some interest in the implementation of trade transactions using national currencies. There is already a mechanism that both parties are free to use. In addition to this we have set up a joint working group to develop a road map to ensure interstate settlements in the Russian-Indian trade.

    The two parties shall consult with representatives of business and industry in order to reach a broad consensus on this issue.

    - Presidency of the BRICS in 2016 goes from Russia to India, which plans to develop the priorities of New Delhi as part of its presidency and how they will contribute to the development of bilateral relations?

    - India is looking forward to working as chairman of the BRICS. We highly appreciate the results of the Russian presidency in BRICS. And now conducting consultations with the Russian side in order to keep the continuity and not to lose the pace of work, and to find new areas of cooperation.

    We have already announced the theme of the Indian presidency - find responsible general and collective decisions. We see an important association BRICS countries, whose influence is important for the whole world. In this respect, in a large number of multilateral initiatives were carried out during the Russian presidency.

    This year is the second time we will host the BRICS summit, the last time it was in 2012. But since then, the BRICS organization became stronger and, of course, increased the level of interaction.

    BRICS member countries are among the largest economies in the world: if we combine the economy of Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa, we will get a large percentage of the global economy. From this point of view we are going to approach the challenges of our presidency of the BRICS: how the organization can contribute to the overall global economy.

    We also understand that within the organization there are other areas of cooperation. This includes the challenges facing the organization, such as terrorism, security.

    - Will there be somehow reflected in the agenda of the Summit and the Presidency theme of joint efforts in countering terrorism?


    - You know, I would like today to share two points, two aspects. The first aspect - the presidency of India in BRICS is an extended process. Another aspect - the summit itself, where will meet the heads of our states. We are ready to take into account in the preparation and various foundations of our cooperation: economics, finance, terrorism.

    Of course, the issues of terrorism and the fight against terrorism will be given some attention, we will concentrate on this.

    With regard to the summit, then, of course, when our leaders meet, they discuss all the most important moments of what is happening in the world. And this will apply not only to the BRICS, but in general the whole situation in the world. Of course, it is very difficult to assume what will be the world situation at that time. But the fact that this issue will be discussed, no doubt.

    I am sure that one of the major emphases, which will focus on during the summit of BRICS, will counter international terrorism. Terrorism - is a serious problem, and the BRICS countries have the ability and capacity to counter terrorism, there is a possibility to maintain peace and stability in the world. So I think that when our leaders meet, you will be sure to take this opportunity to discuss this issue.

    - Does the question now being worked Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to India in preparation for the summit of the BRICS?


    - Of course, we plan to organize a series of ministerial visits and meetings. And in preparation for him, we will consult with Russia. I'm sure when we will schedule a meeting of foreign ministers of the BRICS, be sure to send an invitation to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Mr. Sergey Lavrov.

    The exact dates yet, because we are still working on the schedule of events of his presidency. But I can say that we will stick to the traditions of the BRICS and we will take advice BRICS partners at different levels. This may be the level of deputy ministers, ministerial level.

    As for the dates, as I said, they we have not yet determined. Now we are no longer working on the logistical details of meetings at different levels. And, of course, on the logistics of the summit.

    - How are the negotiations on the free trade zone of India and the Eurasian Economic Union? Can we expect that this year will be an agreement on comprehensive economic cooperation in the format of India - the Eurasian Economic Union?

    - To study the prospects of establishing a free trade area a joint working group was established between India and the Eurasian Union. Research is being conducted, and we look forward to their early conclusion. After we examine the report will begin substantive consultations on the FTA - a comprehensive agreement on economic cooperation. India would like to achieve association with the Eurasian Union.

    Now it is very difficult to identify any time frame, because at the moment held technical talks. But it is very important to understand that at the political level, the parties agreed to facilitate association of India with the Eurasian Union. This was agreed during the summit of the heads of the leaders of our states.

    We are negotiating with Russia, as well as with other countries (member of the Eurasian Union - ed.). India is ready to sign an agreement on free trade zone. But, of course, when this kind of agreements are signed, it is necessary to take into account the fact that it is mutually beneficial for both parties, and take into account the wishes and requirements of both parties.

    - Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that in the tripartite meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Russia-India-China may be held in April, if you have more specific information about the date?

    - The sides still agree on a mutually acceptable date, but we are ready to organize this meeting as soon as possible. Now we are in contact on this issue with Russia, because it will all be held in Moscow. I think we shall sound the date only after consultations end. But once again I want to say that yes, we are ready for this meeting.

    With regard to the agenda of the meeting, it will be determined after mutual consultation. We try to do everything so that this meeting took place is so significant and productive as possible. When Russia, India and China work together, this contributes to world stability and economic development at both the regional and global level.

    - At what stage is the study of the Russian leader's visit to New Delhi?


    - The leaders of Russia and India, there every year, and sometimes more often - on the basis of the intensity and high level of our bilateral relations. Cycle of preparatory meetings which are usually held a few months before this summit, has already begun.

    - Previously reported intention of India to enter into a new contract for the supply of Mi-17V-5 and purchase another 48 such helicopters. Go there already negotiations? When can we expect the signing of the contract?

    - Moscow has already made deliveries of Mi-17V-5 helicopters under the previous contract (151 machine). Who started the procedure of approval of the new party supply of these helicopters, and upon completion we expect to sign a contract.

    At present it is difficult to say when the next batch will be delivered: we expect this, and experts are working on the issue. But it is difficult to identify any specific time frame.

    - That is a purely technical consultations and the parties do not have any significant differences?


    - Yes, in general, I do not see any major problems (with a new contract - Ed.).

    - Do begun negotiations for the purchase of India's air defense systems S-400 "Triumph"? When do you expect to sign a contract?


    - Our military-technical cooperation with Russia has a long history and covers various sectors. Now Moscow and New Delhi are discussing several options of weapons systems, and the sides are working on the completion of the talks fruitful.

    - Are Indian Airlines is considering buying Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ100) aircraft? If so, about how many can there be?


    - Indian companies held a series of talks on the issue with the Russian side. India is one of the fastest growing markets of civil aviation in the world, so we have a serious need in this area, and Russia has the necessary experience. In any case, the negotiations will be conducted on a commercial basis, and I hope for their specific outcomes.

    Sukhoi is in talks with two private Indian companies, and this is purely a commercial matter between the supplier, which is Sukhoi, and two private companies. So we just have to wait, when a decision is made.

    Based on this, I can say that the Indian government is not involved in these negotiations. In any case, I would be happy if the two sides can reach an agreement. But since this offer, there is the private companies take into account the factors that are important to them, and on the basis of the concluded agreements. Now negotiations are still underway. I just want to say is that this is a good Sukhoi Superjet plane, it has proven itself in the international market.

    - When the expected closing of the transaction for the purchase of a stake in India's ONGC "Vankorneft" in New Delhi? Could this happen in the course of the meeting of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission, as previously reported by some media outlets?


    - Oil and gas sector is one of the priorities in the framework of cooperation between Russia and India. Now we are discussing the many opportunities for interaction on extraction and processing, transportation and sale of hydrocarbons, as well as supply of equipment and technologies for their exploration.

    In the course of the last Russian-Indian summit in December 2015, the parties agreed on the acquisition of the Indian company ONGS Videsh Limited 15 per cent stake in the company "Vankorneft".

    With regard to the inter-governmental commission, as you know, we have two of them - military and economic, the issue is related to the economic. Negotiations are underway with the company "Rosneft" and Indian enterprises. These negotiations are going well and I am confident that the prospects for concluding a good agreement.

    However, there is also a complex internal issues that need to be addressed. All I can say is that we are optimistic about the conclusion of this agreement, and hope that it will happen this year. But when and how - it will be decided two sides.

    - If we talk separately about the timing of the intergovernmental commissions, when will the military and when - economic?


    - The current annual summit will be held in India, and as usual, according to tradition, it goes at the end of the year. With regard to the date, we have not decided yet, because we have literally just finished the previous summit - a very successful and one of the most fruitful. But before spending the next summit, we need to hold preparatory meetings. Usually these meetings are held in the months before the summit, and it gives an opportunity for ministers to properly prepare and provide the necessary information to heads of our states.

    As I said before, the date of the summit, we have not yet determined, but we know that, to the summit was a success, it is necessary to prepare well.

    Now we have to schedule such meetings to begin the process as early as possible. We will try to build a schedule so that both sides had enough time to prepare well.

    - Earlier, media reported that Indian Oil Corp and Oil India are in talks with "Rosneft" to buy nearly 30 percent stake in the field TAAs-Yuryakh in Eastern Siberia. Can the Indian side to confirm this? At what stage are the negotiations?


    - We consider several options transactions. However, it should wait for the official announcement in advance not to give publicity details of the negotiations.

    - When may the signing of a general agreement between Rosatom and the Indian side about the construction of new nuclear power plants in India blocks?


    - Russia and India have approved the construction of a road map for the next 20 years, 12 nuclear reactors. We have already put into operation the first unit of NPP "Kudankulam", and is expected to the second unit will also soon be launched. The General Framework Agreement for the construction of the third and fourth block is already decorated. We are currently negotiating for the development of the General Framework Agreement for the fifth and sixth unit (NPP "Kudankulam") and we want to complete the process as soon as possible. During the last annual summit in December 2015, India's Ministry of Energy and Rosatom approved the road map for the localization of production in India is designed in Russian reactors. We believe this is another positive step in the development of our cooperation in the nuclear sphere and politics with a "to do in India."

    - Mr. Ambassador, I have to ask you about an event that is widely expected to happen later this year. We are talking about the end of India's accession to the SCO. Do you expect that at the summit in Uzbekistan point will be delivered?


    - The decision to launch the process of adoption in India was taken at the summit of the organization in Ufa in 2015 as a full member of the SCO. We hope for a speedy completion of this process and the entry of India into the SCO is already at the upcoming summit.

    George1
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    Re: Russia - India Strategic Relationship: News

    Post  George1 on Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:20 am

    Moscow and New Delhi transitioning to trade in national currencies - Indian ambassador

    https://www.rt.com/business/333486-russia-india-currencies-exchange/


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    George1
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    Re: Russia - India Strategic Relationship: News

    Post  George1 on Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:02 am

    Rosneft Plans to Close Deal on Stake in India’s Essar Oil Refinery in 2016

    Russia's oil giant Rosneft and India's Essar Oil refinery have reached a preliminary agreement on the deal which will allow for the two companies to create a long-standing partnership between Russia and India in the hydrocarbon sector.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) – Rosneft plans to close the deal on purchasing a 49 percent stake in the Indian Essar Oil Ltd refinery in 2016, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said.

    “We’ve negotiated (with Essar on purchasing a 49 percent stake in the refinery – Ed.), and reached a preliminary agreement on terms and procedures of closing the deal. We’ll have to receive the necessary permits, and the deal will be closed in 2016,” Sechin said. Speaking about the documents signed on Wednesday, he added that the market would be informed on the details of the deals some time later.

    “Following the signing of these documents, Rosneft will be able to work with its Indian partners. Our cooperation model provides for the involvement of Indian companies in upstream projects in Russia, and Rosneft will get access to the Indian market, thus creating a safe energy bridge between our countries,” Sechin said.

    Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that Russia is a longstanding and time-tested partner of India. “We are happy that India and Russia have attained high levels of understanding and cooperation in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship. We are committed to working together to further strengthen the India-Russia partnership in the hydrocarbon sector”.

    In July 2015, Rosneft and Essar Oil Ltd signed a number of agreements, according to which Russia will participate in the Essar refinery in the town of Vadinar with a stake of up to 49 percent and will supply 10 million tons of oil per year to this refinery for 10 consecutive years. The refinery’s capacity is expected to more than double – from the current 20 million tons per year to 45 million tons by 2020.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/business/20160317/1036437165/rosneft-plans-close-deal-stake-india-essar-oil-refinery.html#ixzz4393vPtSM


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