India's desultory approach to mending fences with Russia news
18 June 2011

New Delhi: India's relations with Russia continue to degrade, albeit at an easy pace, with neither side showing any inclination to mend matters. With the Russians showing an increasing tendency to express their resentment over India's unabashed pro-USA policy, the ruling Indian establishment in Delhi is pursuing relations with Russia in a lackadaisical fashion.

With the handing over ceremony of the Akula-II class nuclear-powered attack submarine postponed indefinitely, without any prior notice, and a ringing insult provided by the Russian Navy to the Indian Navy at Vladivostok recently, after the Indian Navy similarly insulted a visiting Russian Navy chief, both sides have now decided that high profile visits is a good way of papering over differences and providing a show of normalcy.

Indian defence minister, AK Antony, and Indian Navy chief, admiral Nirmal Verma, are now slated to visit Moscow over the coming months. While admiral Verma will be visiting Russia in July, Antony will be there in October. His visit will be a run-up to prime minister Manmohan Singh's annual summit-level talks in December.

These visits follow-on the recent visits of IAF chief air chief marshal PV Naik and defence secretary Pradeep Kumar to Russia.

In April Russia cancelled the 'Indra' series of naval combat exercise at the last minute forcing five Indian warships, which had sailed to the waters off Vladivostok, to return home with just "a port call".

In turn India is making evident its resentment about Russia not adhering to delivery schedules, jacking up costs mid-way through execution of agreements, creating roadblocks in transfer of technology (ToT) and failing to provide uninterrupted supply of spares.

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India's desultory approach to mending fences with Russia