India should sign Russian defence deal

India should sign Russian defence deal
Highlights

If only Putin could convince India to buy their S400 defence system, it would change a lot in the subcontinent scenario Pakistan and China will be rankled a lot That is the one highlight of the deal if it materialises In addition, the US is also worried Donald Trump is trying to hurt Russia as much as possible and has threatened sanctions against countries buying Russian defence kit

If only Putin could convince India to buy their S-400 defence system, it would change a lot in the sub-continent scenario. Pakistan and China will be rankled a lot. That is the one highlight of the deal if it materialises. In addition, the US is also worried. Donald Trump is trying to hurt Russia as much as possible and has threatened sanctions against countries buying Russian defence kit.

In fact, the US went ahead and warned India about the implications of the CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) legislation if it went ahead and made the deal. The US had, only in the last weeks, slapped financial sanctions on the Chinese military for its deal with Russia for Sukho Su-35 fighter jets and the S-400.

But India is an altogether different cup for it. India desperately needs the sophisticated 2-400 to boost its defence capabilities. Unlike China, India faces the menace of Islamic terrorists more than any other country in the sub-continent. It has already fought three wars with its neighbours - all rather imposed on it by Pakistan - and also a Kargil skirmish that was on the verge to plunge India into another war.

It has also to face a hostile China with whom it has a long border dispute and had minor altercations with it several times, Doklam being the most prominent one of late and also a full-fledged war in the past. There are other issues which both the countries, India and Russia, would sign MoUs, but the defence deal is the most watched about.

Of late, India and Russia are not in that good terms and its defence purchases have fallen greatly over decades. India was essentially dependent on Russia and the erstwhile Soviet Union for its defence procurement and serving of its weapons is still being done with spares supply from Russia too. Any going back at this stage will place India in a defence trap if Russia cold shoulders India in the absence of the defence deal now. The present overhaul of its defence systems and modernisations heavily involves Russian weaponry overhaul.

Indian cooperation with Russia and vice versa is a long story of people to people cooperation. Through its literature, Russia, and through its movies, India, had inculcated a certain love and affection among the people. Russia had also helped India become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and has always been backing the latter in its demand for a permanent UN Security Council seat.

Stringent implementation of sanctions by the US would not only impact the S-400 deal but also the procurement of Project 1135.6 frigates and Ka-226T helicopters and many other joint ventures of the two countries. Indo-Russian Aviation Limited, Multi-Role Transport

Aircraft Ltd and Brahmos Aerospace too. Spares, components, raw materials and other forms of assistance too gets affected. Our nuclear submarine INS Chakra, the supersonic Brahmos cruise missile, MIG and Sukhoi fighters, the II transport aircraft, the T-72 and T-90 tanks and the Vikramaditya Aircraft carrier will all be affected. The Russian deal is far more important to us. Go ahead and sign it.

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