india and Russia had decided to invest $ 25 billion in a new 5Th Generation interceptor. The deal which involved the transfer of technology was to be signed in 2016. The deal till date is not signed and it appears, the Russians are not very keen to conclude the deal now. They are also not giving the codes for the various military software imports from Russia. The Russians are peeved that India is abandoning them and moving closer to the US, which the Russians consider their opponent. This cold-shouldering of India is something new as India and Russia for decades had a close relationship.

The Russians are also cultivating Pakistan, which they had never done before.

Earlier close relationship

India has been allied with Russia since the fifties when the left-leaning defence minister Krishna Menon took India into the Soviet orbit. In 1970 India also signed a mutual defence and security pact. This came in handy when India invaded East Pakistan in 1971 as the Soviets backed India. Their submarine fleet also tacked along the 7th fleet as it sailed to the Bay of Bengal. India remained a close friend of Russia but things are changing now. The Russians are wary of India as India moves closer to the US.

The close military relationship with Russia lasted almost 50 years. The Russians supplied India with all their military hardware including Transport planes, tanks, field guns, aircraft, and missiles.

The MIG and the Sukhoi were mainstays of the IAF. Things began to change in the 21st century as the US also decided that India could be the strategic partner to counter China. The Obama years saw India and US move closer as India went in for US military equipment.

Donald and Modi

Donald Trump has now rung up and congratulated the Indian PM Modi on his victory in the recent state elections.

He has also invited Modi to visit the US towards the end of this year. Modi was among the first leaders Donald spoke after becoming president. This is not to the liking of Russia. Though India would like to do a balancing act and also remain friends with Russia, it is not possible. Modi will have to decide between Russia and America.


It will be interesting to see how the US accommodates India in the future. The US also backs Pakistan to a certain extent and this is not to India's liking. Possibly Modi will try and keep relations friendly with Russia, but America is now the preferred partner.