In early July, US and Indian foreign ministers will meet in Washington. According to some sources, the main subject of the agenda is the military cooperation of Delhi with Moscow, which causes dissatisfaction in the White House.
In 2017, trade between the two countries totaled US $ 8.2 billion, with a positive balance in favor of Russia: Russian exports to India reached US $5.6 billion; imports amounted to US $2.6 billion. According to the International Institute for Peace Studies in Stockholm (SIPRI), arms exports fell from US $2.2 billion to US $1.9 billion. Consequently, the share of non-military goods is 66%.
“I believe that this year we can overcome the US $10 billion barrier. Russian and Indian political leaders have set targets to raise bilateral trade by up to $ 30 billion by 2025. For this, an annual increase of 15% is required,” said the official representative in New Delhi, Yaroslav Tarasyuk.
Russian-Indian relations are based on a vast set of agreements built over 65 years from the signing of the first trade and technical assistance agreement.
India is a great market for Russian products, this also refers to liquefied natural gas (LNG). The first batch was supplied in early June in accordance with the long-term agreement between Gazprom and the Indian company Gail. Over the next 20 years, Gail is expected to receive 2.5 million tons of gas annually.
Moscow, in turn, respects the Indian government’s desire not to limit itself to the purchase of weapons, but to acquire technology, to establish arms production in its country, according to the program Make in India. Such projects include the Su-30MKI fighter, the T-72M1 and T-90S tanks, among others. No country has signed such agreements except Russia.
In triggering a trade war with all its partners, Trump’s administration turned to India. Of course, it will be very difficult to establish good relations in the short term, considering that the US has actively supported Pakistan at the end of the last century.
That is why the White House used every means – the threat of sanctions and the increase of tariffs on imports of Indian goods. Due to the new tariffs on aluminum and steel, India has already lost US $241 million and imposed tariffs on 30 US products.
Cooperation between Russia and India is seriously threatened. As transactions between the two countries are being made in US dollars, Indian financial structures are afraid of being blacklisted and have frozen capital for military and technical cooperation contracts with Russia.
The Indian media reports that since April, banks have frozen $2 billion reserved for critical projects, including the maintenance of the nuclear submarine rented to Russia – the 971 Schuka-B project.