PDF Russian Aviation & Military Guide, 2016
Russian Aviation & Military Guide ¹ 02(03) March, 2016
Diplomatic point of view
Diplomatic point of view
Economic cooperation is one of the fundamental elements of Russian-Indian strategic partnership
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the
Russian Federation to the Republic of India Alexander Kadakin in interview tells
about the development of relations between Russia and India. The Ambassador
assured that our countries have the highest potential for development of both
political and economic relations.
— In actual practice, how is the strategic partnership between Russia and India
manifested and realized?
— Let me remind readers and listeners of "Sputnik" that Russia and India became
initiators of this format of interaction, introduced in international practice
at the turn of the XXI century following the signing of the Delhi Declaration on
strategic partnership by Vladimir Putin and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000. This
was a specific reflection of the maturity, diversity and depth of our relations
which continue to grow in spite of the severe turmoil on the world stage. At the
heart of this phenomenon lies an unprecedented level of mutual understanding and
trust, intimacy or community of priorities in economic and social development,
domestic and foreign policy, including our approach to peace and security, to
the formation of a new global architecture. Based on this precious asset,
accumulated through joint efforts from the early days of the existence of
independent India, the two countries have cultivated new directions of bilateral
cooperation, conforming to our national interests and the current international
As regards Russian-Indian relations, we are highly satisfied with the outcomes
of the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Moscow last December. I will be
very frank in saying that I had not expected the visit to be so fruitful and so
productive, because till the last moment several agreements were not ready and I
was rather pessimistic. The good results have exceeded all expectations. First
of all, it applies to the serial construction of nuclear power units in India.
The number of nuclear power units to be constructed in India with Russian
assistance is 12, including the completed and running unit 1 of KNPP. Unit 2
will be commissioned to full capacity in about five-six months’ time, ground
works for units 3 and 4 have already started, and talks are being held on the
technical parameters of units 5 and 6. Another six units will be constructed at
a new site, which most probably will be in Andhra Pradesh. The name of the place
has not yet been announced.
Russia is the pioneer of peaceful nuclear power units in India. While we have
almost completed unit two, India’s so-called newly acquired partners have not
driven a nail at their sites. Until now they have not started even ground work.
Maybe it happens because of the liability issue but it has not prevented Russia
from going ahead. Pricewise the energy received from Kudankulam today is twice
lower than the projected price for so far hypothetic French and American units.
There is nothing at their sites — just wilderness.
There was another important feature of the summit – President Putin and Prime
Minister Modi had a one-to-one meeting during dinner at the Kremlin. It shows
there is a good chemistry in personal relationship between the two leaders. They
both are very precise gentlemen who do not spend time on idle talking but act in
practical terms. They both are result-oriented persons.
Another important agreement reached in Moscow – an intergovernmental agreement
on Ka-226T helicopters. It means Russia will help India to produce at least 200
machines here in India. It will be with HAL, which can choose even private
partners. It is absolutely in tune with the “Make in India” program launched by
Prime Minister Modi.
— For a long time, Russia and India have been trying to accelerate bilateral
trade and economic relations.
— Economic cooperation is one of the fundamental elements of Russian-Indian
strategic partnership. In the foreseeable future, nuclear energy will remain the
main element of this partnership. Let me remind you that the second unit of NPP
"Kudankulam" is expected to become operational by the end of 2015 and we expect
to start the construction of Units 3 and 4 of this plant in early 2016. The
Indian side is prepared to offer us a platform to build the second nuclear power
plant of Russian design. The "Strategic Vision" of the Russia-India cooperation
in nuclear energy, signed during the Russia-India summit in December 2014,
provides for the growth of cooperation in various areas, including the
production of radioisotopes and scientific and technological developments.
Agreements have been reached on the participation of Indian scientists in the
programs being carried out at the Center for Nuclear Research in Dubna.
I agree that the potential for trade between the major emerging economies such
as India and Russia is far from being exhausted. However, it should be borne in
mind that in recent years we have made significant progress in the development
of contacts between small and medium-sized businesses, Russian regions are
participating quite actively in this process . This is facilitated by the
consistent improvement in the business environment and investment in both
countries, as well as the current international economic environment.
The task of increasing the volume of bilateral trade to 30 billion US dollars
and mutual investment to $ 15 billion by 2025 set by our leaders during the
bilateral summit in December last year is quite achievable. A mechanism to move
to the use of national currencies in mutual settlements is being actively
developed. The creation of a reliable and efficient infrastructure of the
international transport corridor "North-South", which will significantly reduce
the delivery period for goods and the cost of cargo transportation between
Russia and India is being accelerated. We are discussing the creation of a Free
Trade Zone between the Euro-Asian Economic Union and India. The first meeting of
the Joint Study Group on the advisability of such an agreement was held
recently. We are working on updating the Russian-Indian agreement on the
protection and promotion of mutual investments. All these steps will create an
entirely new environment for building fruitful cooperation, not only bilaterally
but also on the regional level.
Speaking of advances in bilateral trade and economic relations, mention must be
made of the successful implementation of a number of projects in the oil and gas
sector. In particular, the Indian company ONGC Videsh Ltd. is carrying out
exploration of oil fields in the Tomsk region and in the northeast shelf of
Sakhalin Island (project "Sakhalin-1"). In pursuance of the accords reached
during the December visit of the Russian President to India, the Russian company
Rosneft and the Essar Group signed during the BRICS summit in Ufa on July 8 this
year a long-term contract for oil supplies for the purpose of refining at the
Vadinar refinery (Gujarat, India). The contract envisages total supplies of 100
mln tones of crude oil over a period of 10 years. This is truly a landmark event
in the history of oil and gas cooperation between India and Russia as it opens
up broad prospects for cooperation in related fields.
Moreover, Rosneft and Essar shareholders signed a Term Sheet with regard to the
participation of Rosneft in the Vadinar refinery equity capital with a share of
up to 49%. The framework of the transaction also includes a retail network of
1,600 petrol pumps in India.
In the energy sector, work is continuing under a contract for designing the
second stage of the largest hydroelectric power plant UpperSiang in India,
signed in March 2014 by the company "RusHydro International" in consortium with
the Institute "Hydroproject". In February this year, the International group of
companies "Lighting technology" started the production of lighting equipment for
general and special purpose capacity of 60 thousand luminaires per month in the
southern state of Karnataka. There are other instances confirming the growing
commitment of business communities of the two countries to expand mutually
— What can you say about perspectives of economic cooperation and trade between
Russia and India?
— I do not think there are any barriers in our trade. The figures are hovering
around $10 billion. Of course, for such giants as Russia and India these are
peanuts. We must raise trade. I have been analyzing the reasons and I think that
Russian and Indian businesses are both to blame.
On the one hand, maybe, Indian businessmen were spoilt by the former Soviet
system of quotas, when, for example, producers of tea had a guaranteed quota of
supplying, say, 10000 tonnes of tea. Or the business people from Ludhiana who
had a quota of 300 pieces for wool hosiery to be supplied to the Soviet Union.
When we became a free market economy, one had to be more active. Maybe our
Indian friends are somewhat lazy. They must be hyperactive in the Russian market
like the Chinese and, until recently, Turkish companies. We would also welcome
investments in pharmaceuticals but your people still prefer to sell us readymade
generics. We would like to produce them together in Russia. Transportation is
also a problem. We must rejuvenate and more actively use the North-South
— What about the Russia-India defence relations which were so robust in all
— Defence cooperation is very robust now. It is a very stable relationship. We
do not feel jealous when India wants to acquire some weaponry from other
sources. We view India as a superpower in the making. For many decades we have
been doing everything for India to become militarily, industrially,
scientifically strong. It is absolutely wrong when media writes that
Russian-Indian ties are not as strong as before. It happens because people do
not know what they write. Please, name a country, which would rent a nuclear
submarine to India? Name another country, which would refurbish and reconstruct
aircraft carrier to make such a nice one as the Vikramaditya.
“Make in India” program is not a novelty for Russia. We have always been working
according to this principle. The steel plants at Bhilai and Bokaro are still in
India, not in Russia. The HAL factory producing planes is also in India as well
as the small antibiotics plant in Rishikesh, which was the first in India’s
progress towards superpower status in medicines.
Our relations has always been on a smooth and even keel with the exception maybe
of a short period after the democratic revolution in Russia after 1991, when we
were immersed so deeply in our own problems that the focus on India was less. It
was a period of great hardships for Russia – we were undergoing transformations
of never seen before dimensions. Even at that period we tried to sustain our
relationship with friend India. President Yeltsin came to India in 1993 to sign
the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. India around that time also started
its economic reforms.
— What are the directions in which it is acquiring significance and gaining
— I think that the statement about the loss of positions in the Russian arms
market in India is very much exaggerated. We continue to occupy a unique and
leading place in the field of direct supplies and joint production of arms and
military equipment for various purposes in India. Today, the Indian Navy and the
Air Force have 80% and 70%, respectively, of their equipment from Russia. No
other country in the world has such collaboration with India.
Cooperation in this area is based on a long-term program of military-technical
cooperation for 2011-2020, which consists of more than 20 intergovernmental
agreements. The total amount of contracts signed by India with Russia is over 35
billion dollars, more than with any other country.
The program of modernization of the Indian armed forces envisages bulk imports
of modern weapons running into tens of billions of dollars, and Russia holds a
key position in India’s priorities. This sphere of Russian-Indian cooperation is
characterized by the highest degree of confidentiality and trust. The situation
is determined not so much by the plans or even individual target contracts as by
the overall accomplished deals and joint projects for the future that are
already being implemented. For example, the best supersonic missile in the world
"BrahMos", which has already been inducted into service in India is at the same
time being adapted for use by all kinds of troops, including air force and
submarine fleet, or the fifth-generation fighter and multifunctional transport
aircraft. A whole range of other initiatives and proposals for prospective
projects are also being considered.
Russia readily shares technologies with India and focuses on joint production of
military hardware. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to launch a
nationwide program "Make in India" offers great opportunities for closer
cooperation between Russian and Indian companies. Russia's participation in this
programme is primarily seen in the establishment of joint ventures in India in
areas that have traditionally formed the basis of bilateral cooperation in the
military-industrial as well as in civil production. It is about promoting
projects such as the creation of medium multipurpose transport aircraft, fifth
generation fighters, and production of components for the MC-21 aircraft. Russia
pins high hopes on the production of the modern and highly prospective
helicopter Ka-226 that it will be marketing together with Indian partners.
Proposals are under consideration for the construction of ships and submarines,
production of latest tanks and other modern military-technical equipment that
has attracted the interest of Indian partners. Joint production is intended not
only with state corporations, but also with major private companies.
— In your opinion, what is the BRICS for India and Russia?
— The BRICS and the SCO summits held in July? 2015 once again showed the
identity of approach of Russia and India to the solution of pressing
international problems and to strengthening the foundations of a multipolar
world. The Indians share our position on the inadmissibility of the imposition
of unilateral economic sanctions without UN approval. During the meeting in Ufa,
Prime Minister Modi confirmed the view of India that such actions are
detrimental to the global economy and make the task of strengthening the
economic cooperation among the BRICS nations more urgent.
The BRICS Summit highlighted the need for transformation of the obsolete model
of global financial system, creation of new institutions to meet modern
challenges. The news about the establishment of the new development bank of
BRICS and the pool of reserve currencies was welcomed in India. Indian partners
hope that while expanding their activity, they will have better chances of
borrowing funds for infrastructure projects, social and humanitarian programmes,
which will ultimately strengthen economic stability. The proposals of Prime
Minister Modi to conclude a customs agreement, to hold the first BRICS trade
fair, to collaborate on the construction of railways and to participate in
improving agricultural potential were warmly received.
In Indian political circles, Ufa was now firmly associated with a significant
event — the beginning of the procedure for India’s entry in the SCO as a full
member. Such an expansion of the organization will, of course, raise its
credibility and serve to strengthen the role of SCO in the international arena,
promote cooperation in the interests of peace and security, in the fight against
terrorism, drug trafficking and other global and regional challenges and
threats. This is especially true in the context of reconciliation and
stabilization in Afghanistan, joint efforts in countering the threat of ISIS and
other dangerous manifestations of radical Islam.
President Putin and Prime Minister Modi met on the sidelines of the Ufa summits.
Prime Minister Modi will come to Russia again before the end of the year on a
bilateral visit. The preparatory work for this important event has already
started. We are looking ahead to meetings of respective working groups and two
intergovernmental commissions that will prepare specific proposals for the
agenda. The forthcoming summit in Moscow will impart a new impetus to our
relationship , raise them to a new level and impart fresh ideas that will enrich
— Has there been any impact of sanctions on the Russia-India relations?
— No, there has not been any impact. Even more, Russia has opened its borders
for Indian agricultural produce like cheese, buffalo meat, the export of Indian
fruits is also growing, like tangerines and even mangoes. We highly value
India’s readiness to help, though Russia has not fallen because of those
sanctions. We are not going to die from hunger, let them understand, it was a
shot in their own leg, they are harming themselves.
— Can we talk on terrorism? It is the biggest challenge of our times.
— Unfortunately, we are in the same boat with India as regards terrorism. India
knows not by hearsay what it means. We have been supporting India in her efforts
to counter transborder terrorism, from Pakistan especially. ISIS is another
scourge of the world and we are fighting it together. We have a very good
machinery of consultations between Russia and India through foreign ministries,
security councils and we have contacts between special agencies, we exchange
information. It is a very productive dialogue, though not often visible.
You may remember, the first man who was tolling the bell of alarm was Mr Putin
in October 2000. When he was speaking in the Parliament, he said that terrorism
was the most terrible and most dangerous threat facing our two countries and the
world. Mind you, it was much before the 9/11 NY outrage! We like nobody else
understand India’s high mission and sufferings from this – like Pathankot, but
not only this, the examples are aplenty.
— What about culture and people-to-people contact?
— There are many schools teaching Russian in Delhi and other cities in India
now. Russian is becoming more and more popular. Russian classes at the Russian
Centre of Science and Culture are absolutely packed. More and more tourists
visit Russia. We hope we will have visa free tourist flow between India and
Russia soon. Our shining ideal on the bright horizon is to have completely visa
free travel between Russia and India. The visa process for business people has
been simplified very much. They used to complain it was difficult to get a visa,
now they get one even on the basis of a fax invitation. That problem has been
removed. Now, there is visa on arrival scheme, which has been a great
simplification too. So we need more touristic exchanges, we need concerts. In
the second half of this year, we shall have the Festival of Russian Culture.
We welcome the fact that from February 15, India will take the baton of
chairmanship in BRICS from Russia. We hope that India’s chair will be
productive, fruitful and rich in content. India can offer the world so many good
things according to traditions of Indian diplomacy, which we also value very
highly. In our view Indian negotiators and diplomats are of highest professional
caliber. We highly value our interaction with them, they are excellent but at
times rather tough negotiators. A special trademark of Indian diplomacy is a
very well prepared background for talks. They are very thoroughly versed in the
situation and they have very flexible briefs for talks. There are many things we
can borrow from our Indian colleagues.
You can write in capital letters: wrong are those people who try to compare us
with other countries. Our friendship and strategic partnership has a separate
niche in our mutual interaction. And it would be wrong to say that India is
drifting towards the US. Russian-Indian friendship as a bedrock – has been
there, as Mr Modi said in Moscow, is there and will remain there. We give India
the best we have at our disposal. If India finds anything better elsewhere, we
do not feel offended. Olden time notions of “fighting for India” are ideological
clichés. We are not going to fight for India, we are going to fight with India
against terrorism and other evils of our times.
These clichés were there when the world was divided into two opposing blocks and
we were ideologically infested by Marxism-Leninism or whatever it was. Now we do
not have any guiding ideology. For example, as Ambassador I cannot be a member
of any political party. It is forbidden by law. We are honest in helping India,
in maintaining friendship with India. We want to see India strong. We do not
have any second thoughts about that. Even in the worst of nightmares we cannot
imagine that we shall ever be enemies or be against each other. It is impossible
because this friendship has so deep roots and it has permeated into the psyche
of the two nations that it is impossible to think of anything like this. We are
clear, we are honest, we are sincere in pursuing this course of action.
Alexander M. Kadakin
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the
Republic of India.
Born: July 22, 1949 in the city of Kishinev, USSR. Ethnic Russian. Education:
Graduated with honours from the Moscow State Institute (University) of
International Relations under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR in
1972. Language proficiency: English, Hindi, Urdu, French, Romanian.
- Joined the diplomatic service in 1972.
- 1971, 1972-78 — probationer, attaché, third secretary of the Embassy of the USSR in India, New Delhi.
- 1978-1983 — second, first secretary, counsellor of the Secretariat of the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. (1979-85 — Asst. Professor of the Department of Indian Studies, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations).
- 1983-1989 — Assistant, Senior Assistant (Chef du Cabinet) to the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR.
- 1989-1991 — Minister-counsellor (DCM) of the Embassy of the USSR in India, New Delhi.
- June-September 1991 — First Deputy Head of the Foreign Minister’s Secretariat.
- 1991-1993 — Minister-counsellor (DCM) of the Embassy of the USSR/Russia in India, New Delhi.
- 1993-1997 — Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of Nepal.
- 1997-1999 — Member of the Collegium, Director of the Linguistic Support Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
- 1999-2004 — Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India.
- 2004-2005 — Ambassador-at-Large, Secretary of the Council of the Heads of Entities of the Russian Federation , MFA.
- 2005-2009 — Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of Sweden.
- Since October 27, 2009 — Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India.
Publications: Authored and translated several books from English and Hindi. Published over 50 articles in scientific journals and press in Russia and India.
Visited more than 30 countries. Has a number of Government decorations. The
Order of Honour (2009) Was awarded the title of the Honoured Diplomatist of the
Russian Federation (2004). Academican, Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.
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