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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Goa, India, Oct. 15, 2016 (AP photo by Manish Swarup).

Billions in Defense and Energy Deals Underpin Closer India-Russia Ties

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016

Last month’s summit between India and Russia in Goa was held against the backdrop of New Delhi signing a logistics pact with the United States and Moscow conducting its first-ever joint military exercise with Pakistan. Perhaps to dispel the notion that the push-and-pull of geopolitics was straining the otherwise deeply rooted India-Russia relationship—this was the 17th annual summit—both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin chose to reiterate the “special and privileged” nature of ties.

They matched their rhetoric by sealing a range of energy and defense deals that reflect their long-term strategic commitments, at a time when Russia’s economy remains sluggish and India is looking to modernize its manufacturing base. Both sides recognize that bilateral trade in nonstrategic sectors is flat and a boost is crucial for either country to emerge as a credible player in the Eurasia-wide economic integration being spurred by China. But that will depend in large part on India-Russia security coordination in Afghanistan at a time of rising India-Pakistan tensions and growing cynicism in the Russia-U.S. relationship. ...

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