Russia and India have had remained friendly from many decades and shared positive relationship. India recently has shown interest in Pakistan which Russia is not finding much appreciative. Some experts have even entitled the talk that Russia should take less interest in what India’s doing.
India is one the main buyers of Russian arms. Many reports and even the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute have reported India the largest arms importer from 2000 to 2014 in the world. It is not a secret that the share of Soviet weapons has made up 75% in India’s armed forces. It continued in 2015 too when Russia shipped arms and military equipments to India. The shipment was expected to be of $4 billion. Later in 2016, cost of $2 billion was budgeted for defence contracts and in 2017, the total imported arms from Russia to India, increased to $4 billion. India invested huge amount in these resources which ultimately benefited Russia.
India has very serious military plans and for the execution they have not only imported arms from Russia, but also from many countries of Europe, Israel and the USA. Pravda. Ru reported that ‘Washington would like to end the defence cooperation between Moscow and Dehli’. Other than this, Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman said ‘We informed Russia that India is no longer a participant in this project, but at the same time we told the Russians that they could continue developing it on their own, and we could rejoin them at a later stage’. It portrays that India is stepping back to reduce their imports from Russia and mainly the military products.
The Indian Army is not finding Russian FGFA (Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft programme) meeting their requirement. So, they have released a special report which determines the factors hindering their effective performance, ‘Having studied all aspects of this project, we came to conclusion that it does not meet our requirements, since the FGFA will not be able to create an aircraft that will be able to demonstrate the performance close to that of American fighters US F-22 and F-35’.
The agreement for FGFA was signed in 2007 between Russia and India but the Indians never get satisfied with the high cost that was being invested in the cooperation programme and the outcome they were getting from it. They said the implementation was not as expected.
The response of Indian Ministry of Defence urged Russia to target Pakistan encouraging the sale of their Su-35 fighters. Deputy Director of the Russian Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Konstantin Makienko said, ‘We do not want to offend the Indians, but I believe that against the backdrop of India’s hesitation about the project of the 5th generation fighter, Russia should promote the Su-35 fighter jet in Pakistan. Otherwise, Chinese, South Korean or even Turkish companies will take this market in about five years’. He further said ‘India has removed all moral obligations from Russia with its behaviour, so Russia should get rid of self-restraint in its relations with Pakistan. In the past, we would often decline profitable contracts with Pakistan for the sake of India, but now we should follow our own interests of commercial profit’.
Talking about Pakistan’s fleet of military aircraft, there are mostly American and Chinese planes. Pakistan has a complicated relationship with Washington but an entrusted and corporative one with China. The question remains that whether Pakistan would build bond with Russia or stay successful with a Chinese corporation? If Pakistan is interest in the deal, India will be not happy with such development.
Fifth- Generation Fighter project failed but there are many other projects jointly of Russia-India that remained very successful i.e. Missile Technology, Aviation, Tanks and Naval Equipments etc. Therefore, Russia should make contracts for its own benefit and decide which partner (India or Pakistan) is more important.