Russian President Vladimir Putin arriving in New Delhi on Monday. The choice of India as Putin’s first foreign trip after the Corona period has raised the ears of even big diplomatic pundits. After reaching India, Putin will fly back to Russia after holding quick meetings. Just before his visit, two units of the S-400 defense system have been sent from Russia to India. Both America and China are irritated about the deal of this missile system. Not only this, during Putin’s visit to India, the deal of Kamov Ka-226T helicopter, AK-203 rifle, Igla Man portable missile launcher can also be approved.
Putin’s visit sends strong message to China
Vladimir Putin has chosen India for his first in-person visit after Covid. Earlier, he had gone to Geneva for a summit with Joe Biden, but that was not an official visit to Switzerland. Putin is also trying to show that if Russia’s ties with China are getting stronger, it will not affect relations with India. China, embroiled with India from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, is also getting a message from Putin’s visit to India. In August this year, India, being the chair of the United Nations Security Council, organized a meeting on Maritime Security. Putin himself attended this meeting at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India-Russia friendship jolts China
After the end of the Cold War, relations between China and Russia strengthened rapidly against America. India’s relationship with Russia will also be a signal to China that it has another option in Asia. The relationship between the two countries can be called opportunistic, because it is only against America that Russia and China come closer. There has been a border dispute between the two countries for a long time. Even during the Cold War, Russia and China worked in different directions. In such a situation, Russia knows that China can retaliate at any time given the opportunity.
S-400 even with China, then why the problem?
In 2014, China bought six batteries for Russia’s S-400 missile system. The deliveries of the S-400 to him were started in 2018. It has been claimed in many reports that China has also deployed its S-400 missile system on the India border. But, India’s S-400 missile system is more advanced and longer range than the Chinese system. The main reason for this is an international treaty Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). India is a member of this treaty, while China is not. In such a situation, no country can sell missiles of more than 300 km range to non-member countries. That’s why Russia has entrusted India with a system of greater range than China.
What is the harm to America by Putin’s visit to India?
The Indo-Pacific remains a test center for the world’s superpowers. Both Russia and America are trying to establish their supremacy in this region. However, both the countries cannot fulfill their dream without India’s help. In such a situation, America knows very well that if India finalizes the treaty to use the naval base with Russia, then it can harm American interests. Not only this, America is the biggest exporter of arms and India is the biggest buyer. If India deals with many other types of weapons with Russia, then it will cause big damage to the US defense market. Not only this, Russia will also get a huge amount of money from this deal, which it can use against America.
America is intimidating India with CATSA law
The US has repeatedly threatened India with sanctions under CATSA regarding the S-400 missile system deal with Russia. When US Defense Secretary General Lloyd J Austin, who visited India this year, was asked about the sanctions regarding the S-400, he said that what kind of restrictions on the weapon which has not been delivered yet. But, now the deliveries of the S-400 have started. In such a situation, America can impose sanctions on India through CAATSA Act.
US military officers are also giving advice to the Biden administration
Admiral John Aquilino, the chief of the US Army’s Indo-Pacific Command, has spoken to the US Congress about India-Russia relations. He had said during the hearing in the US Congress for confirmation of his name that America needs to understand that India has longstanding relations with Russia for security cooperation and military equipment. He had also advocated not to impose sanctions on the purchase of India’s S-400 missile system from Russia. Admiral John Aquilino said he would try to wean India away from Russia instead of resorting to sanctions to buy weapons. Aquilino said that I think I will leave that decision to the policy makers. I think we should understand where we stand with India and I think the move to provide an alternative is much better.