Vladimir Agaev, a columnist for RIA Novosti
Indian authorities believe that the restrictive measures imposed by Washington against Moscow, undermine the security of the country. Now Delhi has more than a third of military export of Russia. Us sanctions hurt not only purchase new weapons, but also to maintain the existing Arsenal.
The prohibition of friendship
Moscow has always been a long term ally of new Delhi for decades helping to provide defenses. And payment terms as all other features of the transactions, have been favorable, said in an interview with RIA Novosti Vice-President of Helicopter Engines MRO Pvt. Limited (HE-MRO) Ankur Gupta. His company produces helicopter engines.
“Between India and Russia has always maintained a really mutually beneficial relationship, especially in the defense sector,” — said the Indian businessman.
“The nuclear submarine INS Chakra, a conventional submarine Kilo-class, cruise missile Brahmos, MiG, su and transport aircraft Il different generations of tanks T-76 and T-78, the aircraft carrier “Vikramaditya” — all obtained from the Soviet Union in the cold war years and later from Russia. In other countries is not buy for any money. Moreover, modern weapons produced in India, are also made on Russian technology on the license,” — says researcher of the Institute of studies and analyses in defence (IDSA) Laxman Kumar Becher.
And now a well-established partnership under threat. In early April, the United States expanded sanctions list of Russian individuals and legal entities, including 24 of businessmen and officials, as well as 14 companies, including “Rosoboronexport” and “RUSAL”. Washington imposed restrictions do not allow new Delhi to sign with Moscow the new contracts in the defense sphere, and use any of the payment channels to settle previous contracts.
The Ka-226T helicopter, presented at the International aviation and space salon MAKS-201 in Zhukovsky near Moscow. 19 Jul 2017
“This puts India in a very difficult position because we have been unable to complete earlier negotiations with Russia and to perform its obligations. Important agreements on deliveries of antiaircraft-rocket complexes With-400 and at lease a second nuclear submarine was in limbo,” says Ankur Gupta.
In addition, the us sanctions will complicate the export to India of frigates of project 1135,6 and helicopters Ка226Т and will affect all of the Indian-Russian joint venture in the field of defense — both active and planned, for example, Indo Russian Aviation Ltd, Multi-Role Transport Aircraft and Brahmos Aerospace Ltd. Under the ban can get and purchases from Russia of spare parts, components, raw materials — all that is necessary for the production and maintenance of licensed products, says Dr. Becher.
Such prospects in the Indian government unhappy and anxious, according to local media.
“On the one hand, the U.S. wants to see India remained their closest strategic partner in the Asia-Pacific region to counter China. On the other — threaten the planned purchase of s-400 from Russia, and also projects on frigates, submarines and helicopters” — quoted by his companion the Times of India newspaper.
Of course, Washington readily be replaced Moscow as a supplier of weapons to countries in Southeast Asia, but it is unlikely to that there ready. Most States are concerned about their safety, think about the diversification of military equipment under the simple and wise rule “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. And get a monopoly supplier in the face of Washington nobody wants.
Difficulties have already arisen — some Indian banks suspended financial transactions with Russia. However, this does not preclude the performance of obligations under the contract, because between Russia and India since last year, the system of mutual settlements under the sovereign guarantee of the States, said researcher, Department of international organizations and the global political regulation of the Department of international political studies, IMEMO ran Alexei Kupriyanov. Another thing is that the United States should, in principle, decide how to mitigate the risks arising from them, the sanctions imposed, for their strategic partners such as India, or, say, Indonesia.
An employee of the company “RUSAL” during operation
“Most likely, the law “On countering enemy of America” adopted by the Congress will make amendments. Washington will have to go for it, because, increasing the pressure on the same India, they run the risk of pushing her to the changing foreign policy priorities”, — the expert believes.
Realizing this, the Pentagon chief James Mattis has appealed to the U.S. Congress urging them to weaken the sanctions regime for a number of countries, including India.
Will need to be balanced
The problem of military-technical cooperation from the scope of us sanctions is really important for India and Russia. The forthcoming meeting of Vladimir Putin with Prime Minister of India Narendra modi at a business forum in Sochi will be devoted to this issue, says political analyst and expert on South Asia, Chandra Prakash Singh. It is also significant that the relationship of Delhi with Moscow fundamentally different than in Soviet times.
Soldiers of special divisions of Armed Forces of India at the stage of the first interspecies Russian-Indian exercise “Indra-2017”
“If in the past it was the attitude of a superpower with a developing country, today it is the parity between two important players on the world stage,” says Dr. Singh.
The expert is convinced that current challenges can be overcome if Russia will not only continue to assist India’s military products but also to share their know-how and technologies in the defense sector. That is going to do what the US are extremely reluctant.
“In the difficult times of the cold war, Russia and India have found ways and means for cooperation. Today, however, more difficult because India does not want to jeopardize its ties with the United States, which is negotiating the supply of high-tech military equipment such as drones, Sea Guardian. So Delhi will have to find a balanced approach,” — said Vice-President of the HE-MRO Ankur Gupta.