Russia approves draft logistics agreement for signing with India.

Key Highlights

  • After several years of delay, the India-Russia mutual logistics agreement is now ready for conclusion, with Russia recently approving the draft.

Agreement Details

  • This agreement aims to streamline military-to-military exchanges for exercises, training, port calls, and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) efforts.
  • It aligns with a series of similar agreements India has signed with various countries, starting with the United States, Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016.

Delayed Agreement

  • This agreement is also known as the Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELOS) has faced delays for several years. 
  • Once it is concluded, the agreement will be valid for five years and will automatically renew unless either party expresses a desire to terminate it.

Access to Arctic Facilities

  • The RELOS, once signed, will grant India access to Russian facilities in the Arctic region. 
  • The Arctic is an area of growing global interest due to new shipping routes. 
  • This is significant given India’s increasing investments in Russia’s eastern regions.

Benefits associated with logistics exchange agreements:

  • Among the three services, the Indian Navy has benefited the most from these administrative arrangements with various countries, enhancing its operational turnaround and increasing interoperability on the high seas. 

These agreements have proven mutually beneficial. For example: – 

  • Foundational agreements with the U.S.A., and logistics agreements with Australia and Japan, have been particularly advantageous as they operate several common military platforms.
  • Similarly, the United Kingdom has been utilizing its agreement with India to enhance maritime cooperation. 

About India-Russia Bilateral Relation

  • India established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union even before gaining independence from Britain in 1947. This connection during India’s formative years set the stage for a friendly relationship.
  • The signing of the Declaration on the India-Russia Strategic Partnership in 2000 marked a new chapter.  This was further elevated to a “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership” in 2010.  
  • Strong Political Partnership:  India considers Russia a key partner and Russia supports India’s bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.  They also collaborate on global issues at the UN, BRICS, G20 and SCO.

Defense Cooperation:  India is the largest customer for Russian arms. This collaboration is a major pillar of the relationship.

  • Nuclear energy: Russia is a key partner for India in its peaceful nuclear energy efforts, notably through projects like the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNP).
  • Space cooperation: Both have collaborated for nearly four decades in peaceful space endeavors. Russia is cooperating on India’s major human spaceflight mission, “Gaganyaan”.

Growing Economic Ties:  Trade is on the rise, with a goal of reaching $30 billion by 2025, especially after the Russia-Ukraine war and Western sanctions, the scope of trade between the two nations is increasing. 

  • Russia exports oil and gas to India, while India exports pharmaceuticals and machinery.

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