A Special Relationship: US Will Never Replace Russia in India's Eyes

© AP Photo / Anupam NathIndian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft flies past during a parade at an airbase in Tezpur, India, Friday, Nov. 21 2014
Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft flies past during a parade at an airbase in Tezpur, India, Friday, Nov. 21 2014 - Sputnik International
The results of the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi signify that Russia and India remain close and trusted strategic partners.

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As Russia and India signed new agreements in the defense, nuclear and energy sectors on December 24, it became apparent that Moscow remains one of Delhi’s most important strategic partners, the Washington Post observes.

The officials of the two countries have also agreed to ease visa regulations, to cooperate on a joint venture to build military helicopters in India, and to develop nuclear reactors in India.

However, the Indian arms market also becomes more and more attractive for other powers. For example, during the past several years the US has competed with Russia to become India’s largest arms supplier, primarily through sales of military aircraft and helicopters, the newspaper adds.

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"India has decided to put its eggs in many baskets, rather than just the single Russian basket," Sushant Singh, an associate editor at the Indian Express newspaper, told WP. "This is very clearly understood and accepted by Russia. They know they are no longer our only partner."

Nevertheless, the close defense partnership between Russia and India, which dates back decades, remains unperturbed by these developments.

"We do things with Russia and Russia does things with us which we don’t do with any other country," Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told media this week, adding that Russia is “a very old and trusted partner."

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and India’s Prime Minister didn’t publicly discuss the potential sale of Russia's state-of-the-art S-400 Triumf air defense systems to India during their meeting. However, an Indian arms company called Reliance Defense said Thursday that it signed a manufacturing and maintenance deal worth about $6 billion with Russia’s Almaz-Antey, the S-400 manufacturer, the Washington Post adds.

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