India hopes Russia will rethink drills with Pakistan

India is hopeful that Russia will not offer military supplies or hold joint military drills with Islamabad, keeping Delhi’s sensitivity in mind.

Even as geopolitics is evolving fast with Moscow making certain military overtures to Islamabad, Delhi is expanding its strategic partnership with Russia that will be showcased during President Vladimir Putin’s visit for the BRICS annual summit in Goa next month.

India has sensitised Russia about its concerns over its proposed military (four helicopters) sales as well as joint drills with Pakistan Army. Sources remained hopeful that Moscow will not take any step that is detrimental to Indian security interests.

While India has expanded its strategic military partnership with the US, it is aware of the fact that Russia is a major player in West and Central Asia and has a significant presence in Asia-Pacific region. Russia is crucial for India in balancing power equations in Asia, noted a source.

India is ramping up partnership with Russia across energy, connectivity, and manufacturing sectors besides maintaining robust defence ties. Moscow remains important for India’s national security policy and plays a key role in India’s strategic thinking.
India is acting in tandem with Russia in Gulf, Iran and Afghanistan and on Friday the two sides will hold consultations in Delhi on Asia-Pacific. “India is vital for Russia’s Asia-Pacific Policy. After all, Moscow does not want to box itself by expanding ties only with China.

Sino-Russian ties will not grow at the cost of Indo-Russian ties. Delhi still makes first phone call to Moscow when it comes to security emergency,” noted an expert on Indo-Russian affairs.

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