Diplomatic and Military Affairs

Russia cancels war games with India: report

Updated: 2011-05-31 11:39


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NEW DELHI - Russia has canceled in the recent months two important bilateral war games with India, including the Indra series of navy and army war games in the recent weeks, apparently due to India's refusal to buy new Russian fighter jet, reported local media Tuesday.

Russia had late last month called off the Indra series of exercises with the Indian Navy, despite the latter's warships - including guided missile destroyers INS Delhi, INS Ranvir and INS Ranvijay - reaching Vladivostok, an eastern Russian port town on the Pacific Ocean, the Indo-Asian News Service quoted defense sources as saying on Monday.

The reason cited by Russians for the sudden decision to do away with the naval war game was the non-availability of its warships due to their expected deployment in aid of Japan after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, said the report.

But what came as a shocker for the Indians was that the Russian warships later sailed out for an exercise of their own, instead of the cited deployment in aid of Japan, according to the report.

The Indian ships returned to Visakhapatnam last week without the valuable experience that would have been gained if the exercise had taken place. Indian Navy personnel instead had to contend with a face-saver of a tabletop simulation during their stay in Vladivostok, said the report.

Russia also called off an army exercise under the Indra series that was to be held in Russia in June.  Moscow conveyed to New Delhi last week that it would not be able to host the exercise as the intimation for the war game was sent very recently without much time for preparation, according to the report.

Since 2003, the two countries have conducted five exercises between their armies and navies under the Indra series. The latest bilateral army exercise was held in Uttarakhand in northern India last October.

The Russian moves come in the wake of India choosing two European fighter jets as the top contenders for a $10.4 billion fighter jet contract. In the process, not only Russian but also American and Swedish planes were knocked out of the competition.


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