India-Russia Current Affairs - 2019

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Exercise Indra: Joint tri service Exercise between India and Russia

The Joint tri service exercise between India and Russia, INDRA 2019 is to be held between December 10-19, 2019 in Pune. The event is planned for 10 days between army, naval and air force forces of both the countries.

Highlights

The exercise is to be held in Pune and Goa simultaneously. Fighter aircrafts, company sized mechanized contingents and ships of respective armies are participating in the exercise. The forces are to be trained in tactical operation end drills like handling and neutralization of Improvised Explosive devices, arms smuggling prevention and anti-piracy measures.

The exercise will be followed by 72-hour validation exercise.

Background

The series of INDRA exercises between India and Russia began in 2003. However, the first joint tri service exercise began in 2017.

The defense relations between India and Russia are historic. However, close ties of Russia with China hurt India. Similarly, India’s 2+2 dialogue, LEMOA and COMCASA agreements with the USA bothers Russia. However, India is trying to balance its relations with both the countries. India went on to buy S-400 missiles from Russia in spite US’s insistence under CAATSA act.

India and Sweden to sign Polar Science Cooperation Agreement

India and Sweden are to sign their first maritime cooperation agreement during the Swedish Royal couple visit. The agreement includes cooperation between the countries in both Arctic and Antarctic regions and hence the name Polar Science.

Significance

In the last few years, India has signed series of maritime agreements to exchange military information and to extend the reach of its armed forces in the arctic region. This will help India to learn about resource exploration and keep in pace.

The agreement further aids in India’s ambitions in strengthening its defence forces. The agreement will help India get access to Russian bases in the Arctic.

Royal Couple Visit

The Swedish Royal Couple King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden are to visit India for 5 days. This is the third visit of the Swedish Royals to the country. Earlier the visits were in 1993 and 2005.

The bilateral trade between India and Sweden was 3.37 billion USD in 2018. The relations between the countries have been friendly, transparent and by rule of law.