Denis Telmanov,Dmitry Mayorov
This week in Washington, negotiations were held between the United States and India in the 2 + 2 format, in which American politicians tried to convince the Indians to abandon military cooperation with Russia. Will New Delhi go for it – in the material of Gazeta.Ru.
US President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin participated in the meeting from the American side. From India – Prime Minister Narendra Modi (via video link), Foreign Minister Subramaniam Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.
Following the meeting, Blinken noted that the United States plans to become India’s “preferred partner in trade, technology, education, security and defense.” The Secretary of State said that Washington will seek to reduce the military-industrial cooperation between Moscow and New Delhi.
Vasily Kashin, director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies (CCEMI) at the Higher School of Economics, expressed doubts about the possibility of implementing this strategy in an interview with Gazeta.Ru.
“The US does not have such a scale of supply to India that could encourage this country to join the sanctions, reversing its previous policy. The principles of Indian foreign policy have a perfectly rational basis. Their main approach is that they try to deal with everyone and squeeze the maximum out of each partner,” said Kashin.
A former deputy Russian military attaché in India, retired colonel Andrey Belyaev, agrees with him.
“Even more than that. The United States has nothing to offer India except trifles and junk. For example, they once sold Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk helicopters to them. Not the worst car, yes, but it’s from the 1980s. Western countries refuse it. And Russia sold Delhi the latest S-400 complex – this is a completely different scale and a different attitude. Indians are well aware of this.” Belyaev said.
Aleksey Kupriyanov, head of the South Asia and Indian Ocean group at the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at IMEMO RAS, explained that two factors influence Delhi’s decisions to purchase military equipment from certain states, the first of which is the fear of relying on only one partner.
“Indians are interested in diversifying their purchases. They have a very sad experience – at one time they focused almost entirely on us, and when the Soviet Union collapsed, the Indians found themselves virtually without a supplier of weapons and with big problems in terms of supplying spare parts. Therefore, now they will buy something from Israel, something from France, and something they will continue with us,” Kupriyanov said.
The second factor, according to the expert, is the presence within the Indian Ministry of Defense of “influence groups that lobby for the interests of certain suppliers.”
“As a result, any contact is the result of careful balancing and complex internal processes in the depths of the Indian defense industry: let’s give in to one lobby and order a car from the Russians, and then give in to another lobby and order electronics for them from the Israelis, glue everything together and get an excellent aircraft for our Indian needs. This is how the Indians work,” Kupriyanov explained.
According to him, the reasons for which it was not possible to implement a number of projects between Russia and India are connected, first of all, with Moscow’s unwillingness to transfer to India the amount of technology that Delhi would have suited.
“For example, India’s withdrawal from the FGFA program (Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, a joint production version of the Su-57) is not associated with a movement towards the United States, but with an unwillingness to invest in a project at an early stage without access to technology. As a result, the Indians decided that they could get by with 4+ and 4++ generation aircraft for the time being, and when we finish everything, they will buy the Su-57 from us with the localization of production at their factories,” Kupriyanov added.
Vasily Kashin noted that the Indians are not going to become an exclusive partner of the United States and refuse to cooperate with Russia.
“The Indian-Russian partnership is based on the interest of the Indians in Russia as in a country that, without posing any threat and having no political contradictions with India, is ready to provide equipment on a commercial basis that other countries will not provide. Any attempts by the United States to influence this are not very promising, if only because any cooperation with the United States in the military sphere is associated with a wide range of political conditions, and upon departure from these conditions, an instant ban on cooperation follows,” summed up Kashin.
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