News / Asia

India, Russia Seal Defense Deals Worth Billions

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a press conference after signing weapons deals worth billions in New Delhi, India, Monday, Dec. 24, 2012.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a press conference after signing weapons deals worth billions in New Delhi, India, Monday, Dec. 24, 2012.
Anjana Pasricha
India and Russia have sealed defense deals worth billions of dollars during a visit by the Russian president, in a move which reaffirms the long-standing strategic alliance between the two countries.

Calling Russia a key partner in the effort to modernize India's armed forces, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the deal to buy 71 military helicopters worth $1.3 billion, and kits to assemble 42 Sukhoi fighter jets worth $1.6 billion.

India and Russia were close allies during the Cold War days, with Moscow being the main supplier of India’s armed forces. But analysts say Russia has been losing out on India’s lucrative defense market in recent years, as New Delhi increasingly hands out contracts to countries such as Israel, France and the United States, establishing closer links with many Western countries. 

The trend has sparked concerns in Russia that the country is losing its dominant position in the Indian military market.

However, Moscow remains a key defense supplier and the two countries also retain a close political relationship.

On Monday, India's leader called Putin a “valued friend.”

“We deeply value Russia’s steadfast friendship, and support for India unaffected by global developments," Singh said. "This relationship has a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of India, and India remains committed to further deepening it.”

The Russian leader, making his first visit to New Delhi since starting a new term in May, was also effusive. In an article published in a leading Indian newspaper, Putin wrote that “deepening friendship and cooperation with India is among the top priorities of our foreign policy.”

Increasing trade with India, which the Russian president called one of the world’s fastest growing economies, was also high on Putin’s agenda, who said he wants to double bilateral trade with India from the current $10 billion to $20 billion. Trade between the two countries has grown slowly in recent years.

The two sides also signed agreements on trade, science, education and law enforcement.

Putin said the deals demonstrate the two countries' mutual aspiration to develop political dialogue, investment, trade relations and people-to-people contact.

The two leaders also reaffirmed their commitment toward stabilizing Afghanistan, and making it free from extremism. 

“We reviewed the ongoing developments in Afghanistan," Singh said, "and agreed to work together against threats posed by extremist ideologies and drug trafficking.

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Comment Sorting
by: Sseruwu Alex John from: Uganda
December 25, 2012 3:18 AM
Putin's deals with India is move aimed at bringing back Russia to her former self, selling arms and deeply allying with the world's populous mighty nations, i.e, china and India is move intended to bring Russia to her former glory and shooting up into Asian dominance, Asian diplomat and above all globe mightiness. Its a good deal for Russia but digging deep gradual a global catastrophe as the west seems to be loosing out quickly the Asian markets and influence

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
December 24, 2012 8:40 PM
It is very difficult to understand the Putin charm, he is one of the best arms sales persons on the planet; how is he able to sell massive amounts of arms to China and to India at the same time; and have high level strategic partnerships with both clients (China/India) just amazing. One of the two clients is bound to end up with the short end of the stick when push comes to shove, I bet it will be India...
In Response

by: abhishek from: kolkata india
December 28, 2012 5:04 AM
even your country prime minister is also a doing sales man he came India for selling uranium to India some one form Canada can not need to complain for this

by: angelina from: las vegas
December 24, 2012 5:04 PM
It is for all the world to see the truth about India - Gang rapes, Crimes and Corruption. There are criminals and rapists sitting in legislatures of India. And corp orates and politicians are looting its wealth by both hands - 800 million of the 1.2 billion Indians live a miserable life.In a society with so much of dichotomy at all levels, be it financially or socially, a well rooted patriarchy especially in northern states, added further by distorted sex ratio due to female infanticide, topped with layers of hypocrisy The Indian male is a very chauvinistic,misogynist ,violent animal contrary to the image of a peaceful," Ghandi". Violence is in the blood of an Indian. On top of that, rape is a not uncommon occurrence in Delhi. In Kashmir, the Indian occupation forces have used gang rape as an instrument of state policy Rape is violence and this was a most henious crime against a women for no other reason than being deranged and evil. They ought to be sentenced to a life time in prison. No where in the world this should be allowed to happen India is the failed state and most dangerous place to be a girl The Home Minister of India said, ""Besides, Russian President Vladimir Putin is arriving in Delhi tomorrow. There should not be any such protest when he is visiting India. We are trying our best to cooperate with the students, but... No such picture should go out of the country for which India would come under criticism from the outside world administration or law due to this horrendous crime but he is more concerned that sham and fake image he has to present to the outside world would be damaged but don't worry Indian beggars cheaters of Russian technology cant save you or make you safe against american highly sophisticated advance technology.
In Response

by: Gus from: Virginia. USA
December 29, 2012 9:53 PM
India should have opted for competition rather than pleasing Putin. I disagree with Angelina that India is bad place. There are issues and problems as india has 1.2 Billion + people to feed. Social and criminal issues are everywhere. India unlike China has not tampered with Kashmir as China did with Tibet. Chinese have settled han chinese and connected Tibet and also border with India with highways and high speed rail roads. This helps china in bullying India. Kashmir enjoys lots of priviledges in India. Kashmir state is completely funded by Indian Govt. as there is minimal revenue generated locally. No non kashmiri indians can settle in Kashmir. Terror is funded by Pakistan which wants a revenge of loss of it;s eastern wing.

by: Rana from: London
December 24, 2012 12:27 PM
Mr Singh. Well done! Despite having such powerful and expensive weaponry you and your spineless government can't protect women and their basic rights in your own country.
In Response

by: Anonymous
December 27, 2012 6:45 PM
Commenting with precious little knowledge and a healthy dose of bias renders comments such as yours.
In Response

by: Paristun from: Myanmar
December 25, 2012 8:05 AM
Yup,If Singh led gov. have a heart and will to protect women, they will make plans to protect women from the sex maniacs. Instead of wasting money on the weapons, they should come up with vital laws to protect women.Such laws must me strong enough to make the sex maniacs , stick to porn or whores.

by: ronwiltx from: Kingsville, TX
December 24, 2012 11:33 AM
Well, that tells you what India thinks of the F-35.

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