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24-June-2024-Editorial

June 24 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

INDIA, RUSSIA SET TO FINALISE MUTUAL DRAFT LOGISTICS AGREEMENT 

The Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELOS) between India and Russia marks a significant milestone in enhancing military cooperation between the two nations. This agreement aims to streamline logistics support for joint operations, making them more efficient and cost-effective. Here are the key points about RELOS and its implications. 

About RELOS 

  • Administrative Arrangement: RELOS is a formal agreement to enhance military cooperation between India and Russia. 
  • Logistics Support: It focuses on providing logistical support, including fuel, rations, and spare parts. 

Purpose 

  • Efficiency: Streamlines military logistics to make joint operations and long-distance missions more efficient. 
  • Cost-Effective: Reduces the cost of military operations for both countries. 

Significance 

Sustained Operations: 

  • Ensures the continuous replenishment of essential supplies. 
  • Provides berthing facilities for troops, warships, and aircraft. 
  • Applicable during both wartime and peacetime. 

Strategic Advantages: 

  • Utilizes the host nation’s existing logistics networks. 
  • Enhances the ability to respond swiftly to crises. 
  • Reduces overall mission costs by leveraging shared resources. 

Expanded Military Reach: 

  • Enhances India’s maritime outreach in strategically important regions. 
  • Boosts Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) through better information exchange. 

Balancing Quad Agreements: 

  • Balances India’s logistics agreements with Quad countries. 
  • Strengthens Russian presence in the Indo-Pacific without involving Quad countries. 
  • Counterbalances US influence and China’s regional role. 

Scientific Interconnections 

  • Arctic Engagement: Focuses on understanding the impact of Arctic sea ice melting on Indian monsoon systems. 

India’s Logistics Agreements with Various Countries 

India and USA: 

  • GSOMIA (2002): Facilitates sharing of military intelligence. 
  • LEMOA (2016): Allows mutual use of military logistics facilities. 
  • BECA (2020): Provides access to U.S. geospatial intelligence data. 
  • COMCASA (2018): Enables transfer of encrypted communication equipment. 

India and France: 

  • Supports logistical aid during joint exercises and humanitarian efforts. 
  • Enhances stability in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. 
  • Enhances maritime intelligence sharing. 

India and Australia: 

  • MLSA (2020): Emphasizes shared vision for Indo-Pacific maritime cooperation. 

India and Japan: 

  • ACSA (2020): Allows close coordination and supplies between armed forces. 

Evolution of India-Russia Relationship 

Historical Genesis: 

  • Indo-Soviet Friendship Treaty (1971): Russia supported India during the Indo-Pak war. 
  • Strategic Partnership (2000): Enhanced cooperation in various fields. 
  • Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership (2010): Elevated level of bilateral cooperation. 

Bilateral Trade: 

  • Significant trade relations with total trade reaching approximately USD 13 billion in 2021-22. 
  • Russia is India’s seventh-largest trading partner. 

Political Engagement: 

  • Annual meetings through two Inter-Governmental Commissions: IRIGC-TEC and IRIGC-MTC. 

Defence and Security Relations: 

  • Regular Tri-Services exercise ‘INDRA’. 
  • Joint military programs such as BrahMos cruise missile, 5th generation fighter jet, and Sukhoi Su-30MKI. 

Military Hardware: 

  • Purchases include S-400 Triumf, Kamov Ka-226 helicopters, T-90S Bhishma, INS Vikramaditya, and AK-203 Rifles. 

Science and Technology: 

  • Collaboration extends to nanotechnologies, quantum computing, and space programs like Gaganyaan. 

Key Challenges in India-Russia Relations 

Strategic Shifts: 

  • Closer Ties with China: Russia’s increasing cooperation with China affect India’s strategic interests. 
  • Improved Relations with Pakistan: Russia’s engagement with Pakistan complicate India’s regional strategy. 

India’s Diplomatic Balancing Act: 

  • Balancing its global strategic partnership with the US and its special partnership with Russia. 

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Response: 

  • India’s neutral stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine faced criticism from the West. 
  • Continued economic cooperation with Russia despite global sanctions. 

Declining Defence Imports: 

  • India’s diversification of defence imports has led to a decline in purchases from Russia. 
  • Russia may explore other markets, including Pakistan. 

Way Forward 

Enduring Defence Partnership: 

  • Russia remains a crucial defense partner due to the significant Russian inventory in India’s military. 

Collaborative Export Strategy: 

  • Joint ventures for manufacturing Russian-origin defense equipment in India for export. 
  • Example: Production of Russian Ka-226T helicopters in India. 

Diversification of Economic Ties: 

  • Expanding cooperation beyond defense, focusing on energy, technology, and space. 
  • Ongoing partnerships like the Sakhalin-1 project. 

Strategic Balancing: 

  • Maintaining a balanced relationship with Russia while engaging with other powers. 
  • Participation in forums like BRICS and SCO, along with Quad engagements. 

Space Collaboration: 

  • Enhance cooperation in space exploration and satellite technology. 
  • Joint missions for deep space exploration and satellite-based navigation systems. 

Conclusion 

The RELOS agreement between India and Russia signifies a deepening of military cooperation, providing strategic and logistical advantages. While challenges exist, the partnership is poised to evolve with a focus on defense, economic diversification, and strategic balancing. 

Details

Date:
June 24
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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