Russia and India agreed Monday to hold joint naval exercises next year in, of all places, the Sea of Japan, also called East Sea by South Korea.
That surely will ruffle the feathers of both Japan and China!
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Indian counterpart, A.K. Antony, met in Moscow to discuss prospects of bilateral military collaboration. The sides signed a protocol on the development of defense ties, including closer cooperation between all branches of the armed forces.
Since 2003, India and Russia have conducted seven large exercises under the so-called Indra series of joint ground and naval drills. The last such exercise was held between Russian and Indian army units in October at India’s Mahajan field firing range.
In 2011, Russia canceled joint naval drills with India in the Pacific Ocean, citing the tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan. [Source: RIA Novosti, Nov. 18, 2013]
In May 2011, Russia announced plans to rearm and modernize its military grouping on the Kuril Islands that which fell to Soviet control in the aftermath of WWII, but the ownership of which is contested by Japan.
Construction of two Russian garrisons was completed in 2012. Russian military bases on Iturup and Kunashir – the largest of the island group – would accommodate new forces and provisions for the 18th machine gun-artillery division.
- “India to assume bigger share in 5th Generation Fighter Aircraft project with Russia,” Oct. 26, 2013.
- “Russia to supply energy for India, incl. 2 more nuclear reactors,” Oct. 21, 2013.
- “New China-India border agreement does little to ease tensions,” Oct. 23, 2013.
- “India’s commercial interests in South China Sea rile China,” Oct. 11, 2013.
- “India nervous about China building world’s highest altitude airport in Himalayas,” Oct. 6, 2013.
- “India re-tests missile able to reach Chinese cities,” Sept. 15, 2013.