India and Russia seal defense deals, hail partnership



Alexei Anishchuk | Reuters

Published — Monday 24 December 2012

Last update 24 December 2012 8:17 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

NEW DELHI: India agreed to buy dozens of Russian military helicopters and fighter jet assembly kits at a summit on Monday, underlining the resilience of ties between the long-time allies despite New Delhi’s recent moves to diversify its arms suppliers.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin trumpeted their countries’ strategic partnership at the summit in New Delhi, and in a joint statement agreed on global issues from Syria’s unrest to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The deals reinforce a long-standing strategic alliance based on shared suspicion of China — even though Russia has latterly been courting India’s adversary, Pakistan, and India has been turning to the United States and Europe out of frustration with Russian weaponry.
“Russia is a key partner in our efforts to modernize our armed forces,” Singh said in a statement, welcoming Putin as “a valued friend and the original architect of the India-Russia strategic partnership.”
Sixty percent of India’s arms purchases still come from Russia but it has begun to look further afield in recent years as it seeks to match its growing economic might with military power, and warily eyes its giant neighbor China.
“It’s clear that because New Delhi has set a course for diversification of weapons suppliers, the competitive battle is escalating. Russia is ready for this,” Russia’s ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, said in an interview posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry website on Monday.
Despite the feelgood rhetoric at the one-day summit, there are several strains between the two countries, including Russian efforts to improve relations with Pakistan, India’s arch-rival.
India has been frustrated by delays in the delivery of a reconditioned Soviet-built aircraft carrier, which is now expected late in 2013, and Russian products have also been plagued by maintenance problems and a lack of spare parts.
Separately, the Russian conglomerate Sistema warned New Delhi this month that a lack of progress in a dispute over telecoms licences was putting bilateral relations at risk.
DEFENCE DEALS FALL SHORT
Russian defense industry sources had expected Putin’s visit to New Delhi, his first since he started a new six-year term in the Kremlin in May, to produce agreements on the sale of fighter jets and aircraft engines worth more than $7.5 billion.
Monday’s deals appeared to fall short of that sum, however.
Kremlin sources said Russia would sell India 71 MI-17 V-5 military helicopters worth $1.3 billion, and technological kits worth $1.6 billion to assemble 42 Sukhoi SU-30MKI fighter jets. The original deal for the jets was agreed last year.
Russian defense industry sources and media reports had said a multi-billion-dollar deal for the long-term supply of nearly 1,000 warplane engines could be signed during the visit or had already been signed in October.
But Sergei Chemezov, head of the state conglomerate Russian Technologies, which includes the arms exporter Rosoboronexport, told reporters on the sidelines of the meetings in New Delhi that work on contracts for engine supplies was still ongoing.
Separately, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) — a sovereign wealth fund — and the Indian lender State Bank of India agreed to invest up to $2 billion jointly to promote trade and economic cooperation projects.
Putin announced record arms sales this year but wants to mitigate the loss of deals with Libya and of uncertainty about the future of long-time client Syria on the defense industry, an important source of political support for him.
Putin, whose country took up the presidency of the G20 this month, also hopes for strong growth in overall trade with India.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir says if the Syrian political process fails, Bashar Assad will have to be removed “by force.”“I believe Assad is weak and I believe Assad is finished,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview...
JEDDAH: Employees of the Education Office in Al-Daer governorate, Jazan, where seven people were gunned down on Thursday are in a state of shock and perplexed as to what prompted the attacker — a teacher — to take such an extreme step.The teacher, id...
JEDDAH: The campaign to support Syrian refugees with all their needs is being carried out effectively, as per the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman....
RIYADH: The Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs has ordered the allocation of separate sections for female members of municipal councils.This was announced by Jedaie Al-Qahtani of the ministry. “This is in implementation of Clause 107 of the...
DAMMAM: The 9th Saudi Student Conference which is being held on Feb. 13-14 is sponsored by Umm Al-Qura University and hosted by the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. It was organized by the Scientific Society for Saudi Students in the...
RIYADH: Over the past 10 years, begging in the Kingdom has increased substantially, with the number of organized gangs of expatriate beggars increasing to 85 percent of the total number of beggars, according to Social Affairs Ministry Majed Al-Qassab...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health said it expects its blood donation drive will received 450,000 milliliters (ml) of blood when the Janadriyah festival ends on Feb. 19.Khalid Ibrahim Zobaie, who supervises the blood donation project, said the drive is i...
JEDDAH: The Shoura Council’s decision to reduce working hours in the private sector from 48 hours to 40 hours per week would result in additional operational costs in the sector due to 30 percent higher wages for expat workers, according to Mansour b...
MADINAH: Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman recently visited a number of ongoing developmental project sites in the Holy City, as part of his efforts to ensure that they meet the set standards and deadlines.During the visit, he said that all the s...
RIYADH: The National Guard Ministry is studying the possibility of having two countries as guests of honor each year instead of one at the Janadriyah festival for culture and heritage, the Kingdom’s most prestigious annual festival.This was revealed...
DAMMAM: The Pakistan International School in Alkhobar hosted their 49th annual prize distribution ceremony to honor outstanding students in the presence of Pakistani Ambassador Manzoor Ul Haq and his wife, Nighat Manzoor.Haq appreciated the efforts o...
DAMMAM: The Weaam Association for Family Care in the Eastern Province has succeeded in addressing more than 700 cases of family disputes during the last one year.Abdulrahman Al-Khudair, Weaam’s director of public delations, said: “The association off...
JEDDAH: The Nakheel mall case has continued to grab the limelight, with a number of lawyers now offering their services to the girl who was roughed up by some Haia members in Riyadh. Some people also expressed, through social media, their support to...
RIYADH: Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh inaugurated this week a campaign tosafeguard Saudi society against bad influences.“The campaign seeks to immunize society in the Kingdom from deviant ideas as well as utter lies and heresies that could...
RIYADH: A Filipino nurse who works at a clinic in Riyadh has been missing for a week, her colleagues has said.According to a co-worker at the clinic, the 43-year-old nurse from from Lamitan town in Basilan province, southern Philippines, wa...

Stay Connected

Facebook