Strains on India-Russia defence cooperation

Context: Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, India-Russia defense cooperation is under threat.

When the war started in Feb., the Indian armed forces had stocks of spares and supplies for eight to ten months. They expected that war would be over soon and supply from Russia will be resumed, however, it didn’t happen. Now, there are apprehensions about Russia’s ability to adhere to the timelines for both spares and new deliveries.

India is dependent on Russia in the area of air defense, rockets, missiles, and certain tanks.

Indian defence officials have stated that due to delays in timelines, there would not be any dent in the Army’s operational preparedness along the borders, especially the Line of Actual Control. However, India is looking for certain alternative mitigation measures and identifying alternate sources from friendly foreign countries.

Status of India-Russia defense cooperation

The defence trade between India and Russia has crossed $15 billion since 2018. It includes some big deals like the $5.43 billion S-400 long-range air defense systems, construction of four additional stealth frigates in Russia and India, and AK-203 assault rifles among others.

Many other deals such as MiG-29 fighter jets, SU-30 MKI aircraft, and K-226T utility helicopters are under consideration as well.

How India-Russia payment system is working after the SWIFT ban?

India and Russia have agreed to conduct payments through the Rupee-Rouble arrangement. This mechanism is being used for making small payments. However, work is on to resolve larger payments.

Context: The status of India-Russia defense cooperation is under doubt, due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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