Can Pakistan reach out to India’s estranged ally, Russia?

25 Apr

russiaRussia, the largest arms supplier to India has reportedly decided not to supply arms to India in future questioning the transparency of deals. These deals, according to Russia are, not transparent and fair and the Indian officials manipulate the multi-billion dollars tenders in such a way as to keep Russia out of competition. Indian daily Hindustan Times has quoted Russian ambassador as saying that gimmicks are used to manipulate deals and sometimes terms of tenders are crafted specifically to get the required results. Russia has questioned New Delhi’s fairness and transparency in awarding multi-billion dollar military contracts, and warned that it may have to reconsider doing business with India.

Russia, heretofore the number one defense supplier to India is losing its business to Israel and the US. In order to keep pace with the requirements of modern warfare, India is forced to go for a superior technology which is obviously available in the US. Russia may be losing its business more on the quality of its products than manipulation. But this gives a clear picture of how India is dumping its long-time friendship for realpolitik. India needs state-of-the-art modern fighter jets, mid-air re-fuellers, heavy-lift helicopters and attack choppers for its military.

Russia’s frustration at losing business in India is quite understandable as it reportedly wanted to bypass the tendering process and sell its military equipment through government-to-government deals. This is not an innovation as India has already ordered American equipment worth $8 billion though foreign military sales (FMS) program which does not go through the process of tendering. According to statistics, Russia’s current defence portfolio in India is worth $20 billion.

Russia’s reaction shows that rejection of its equipment through tenders renders its technology as inferior which creates an adverse perception. This hurts Russia which stood by India in its testing times when it was facing sanctions after its nuclear tests and never stopped its sensitive equipment from export to India. The US normally does not allow all its equipment to be exported and each and every deal is subjected to export controls.  Russia even leased its nuclear submarine to India which no country would dare to do.

Russia’s frustration with India has created many a ripples in the emerging diplomatic scenario. A long-time ally getting estranged is real-life lesson in realpolitik but with Russia’s efforts to regain its international status and converting the world back to bipolarity; this loss of economic and diplomatic space in South Asia would be very dear. Will Pakistan fill the vacuum created by India in Indo-Russian relations is a question agitating the minds of those watching the development with interest and with fingers crossed.




One Response to “Can Pakistan reach out to India’s estranged ally, Russia?”


  1. Anonymous - April 25, 2013

    […] agitating the minds of those watching the development with interest and with fingers crossed. Can Pakistan reach out to India’s estranged ally, Russia? | Pakistan Express Reply With […]

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