Thursday, January 25, 2007

Putin in India

One of the threads of discussion from Monday's post was on Russo-Indian cooperation. And of course while so much attention here was focused this week on the U.S. State of the Union and on developments in Iraq, many were not paying attention to the seventh Indo-Russian summit.

Rajiv Sharma noted:

The UPA government took care to give signals about its clever diplomatic balancing vis a vis the USA and Russia and treated the Putin visit on a par with the March 2006 visit to India by President George W. Bush. This was demonstrated by the fact that the Prime Minister received Mr Putin at the airport. This is only the fourth time during his two and a half-year-long tenure that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has cast aside the protocol to receive a foreign dignitary at the airport.

As expected the summit talks threw up a substantive outcome in such diverse fields as civilian, nuclear energy, space, defence, science, advanced technology, energy, trade and culture. The two sides today signed nine bilateral documents and adopted two more. This is over and above the two arms deals India and Russia had signed yesterday (i) for licensed production of Russian aircraft engines in India, and (ii) the joint development of a new transport plane.

An important highlight in the bilateral documents signed between the two countries was India’s inclusion to GLONASS, the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System. Now, India will have access to signals and radio frequency of GLONASS, which is an effective alternative to the American Global Positioning Satellite System (GPS) and the embryonic Galileo system of the European Union.

Also found this to be of interest:

On military-technical cooperation, India and Russia noted that now they had progressed from a buyer-seller format to also include joint research and development, manufacturing and marketing, regular service to service interaction and joint exercises. This is corroborated by the India-Russia joint venture to manufacture Brahmos missile, which is expanding in scope, and has led the way to further such joint projects.

New Delhi and Moscow also called for expansion of cooperation within the China-Russia-India trilateral format. They noted that the first trilateral summit-level meeting, which took place in July 2006 in the outreach format of the G8 events in St. Petersburg, gave a fresh impetus to enhancing multifaceted interaction among the three states.

It is an interesting development. So many people in DC think India is "in the bag" and miss the point that India is going to keep shopping around for the best deals--so if the US sits back and thinks that it has bought New Delhi, think again.
Is China going to sign a non-disclosure agreement with respect to any Indian technology it acquires? Or will China be free to pass these on to Pakistan?
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