India to sign logistics agreements with Russia, UK and Vietnam

New Delhi: – A critical deal, Reciprocal Logistics Support, will be signed between India and Russia during the India visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin. With this agreement, both the countries will be able to use each other’s military bases, and India will have access to the Russian Arctic naval base. A newspaper claimed, quoting government sources, that similar agreements are in the pipeline even with the United Kingdom and Vietnam. India signed a similar deal with Japan in the last week and had signed the same with the United States and Australia before that. China has already started issuing a spate of threats against these agreements, which increase the scope and extent of the Indian Navy and Airforce.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit India in October. This visit of the Russian President is crucial against the background of the India-Russia alliance of many decades, and several defence-related agreements will be signed during the visit. Roman Babushkin, Deputy Chief of the Russian Mission in India, informed that the Reciprocal Logistics Support between Russia and India would be signed during this visit. As per the agreement, India and Russia will be allowed reciprocal use of military bases and ports. It is being said that certain aspects of the agreement are still being finalised.  

It is being claimed that the concerned agreement will prove to be vital for India from a military point of view. This agreement will make the Russian Arctic Naval base available to India, and Indian ships and destroyers can use the port for refuelling or even necessary repairs if required. India has already started moves to increase investments in the far eastern regions of Russia. It has also been reported that India was contemplating the development of a corridor in the Arctic region. India will be implementing a joint energy project in this sector. It is claimed that following this logistics agreement, and the path will be cleared for India in the Arctic sector.  

There are reports that India is also preparing to sign logistics agreements with the United Kingdom and Vietnam. The Indian officials informed that discussions are underway in that direction. If a logistics agreement is in place with Vietnam, it will allow India to use the Vietnamese naval bases. Vietnam has already expressed a willingness to enable India to use its naval bases. Vietnam and China are at loggerheads over the South China Sea. Against this background, logistics agreements with Russia and Vietnam would be a direct challenge for China.  

Meanwhile, the Chinese movements and investments in the India Ocean region are increasing. Whereas, India too has started growing military cooperation with countries in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. Last week, India signed the logistics agreement with Japan. With this agreement, the Indian warships in the South China Sea can use the Japanese ports for repairs and maintenance. Whereas, Japan will deploy its warships in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Chinese mouthpiece is accusing that India and Japan have opened a front against China with this agreement. India has already increased military cooperation with the United States, France, Singapore and Australia by signing logistics agreements with these countries. 

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