Russo-Indian military collaboration has seemingly become a thorn in the United States' side as Washington has decided to bolster US-Indian defense ties
This article originally appeared at Sputnik
It is expected that during his upcoming visit to India US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will offer New Delhi a new US tactical aircraft and sign a 10-year bilateral India-US Defense Framework Agreement, Franz-Stefan Gady, an expert in military affairs and cyber diplomacy, emphasized.
"We are looking to do more in terms of [military] exercises and joint training and interoperability with our Indian counterparts," said US Ambassador to India Richard Rahul Verma as quoted by the expert.
The US' move can be regarded as backlash against the increased military cooperation within the BRICS. Indeed, Moscow and New Delhi have been steadily strengthening their ties in the military and military-technical field over the past years.
The Kremlin has repeatedly stated that it values its "privileged strategic partnership" with India and expressed confidence that the countries will boost economic and political relations.
According to the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), in 2014, New Delhi was the largest buyer of Russian arms, receiving $4.7 billion worth weapons and military equipment from Russia.
Moreover, Russo-Indian joint military projects also include manufacturing of the fifth generation fighter aircrafts, T90 tanks, Smerch multiple launch rocket systems and the supersonic Brahmos missiles.
The BRICS cemented by Russia's military expertise and might is currently emerging as a self-sufficient global player, not just as an economic alliance.
Crispin Rovere, an Australian expert in Asia-Pacific affairs, even went so far as to suggest that "in the long-term, an anti-US coalition consisting of China, Russia and India cannot be discounted."
It seems that the increasing Russo-Indian military cooperation has become a thorn in Washington’s side. On the other hand, by bolstering its defense ties with India, the United States apparently hopes to kill two birds with one stone: to downplay Moscow's diplomatic success in Asia and intensify contradictions between New Delhi and Beijing.
However, according to Crispin Rovere, such a strategy is doomed: although there are certain frictions between China and India, their competition is "certainly nothing like the strategic competition that exists between China and the US."
On the other hand, Russia remains India's "sole strategic partner," while all three countries – Russia, India and China – "have a strong preference for a multipolar world order and the dilution of American hegemony," the expert pointed out.