India Defies Sanctions, Secures Advanced Russian Warships

Written by Henrik Rothen

Apr.05 - 2024 9:51 PM CET

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Photo: Wiki COmmons
Photo: Wiki COmmons
Despite sanctions, India manages to purchase warships from Russia.

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India is set to bolster its naval strength with the acquisition of two Russian warships, a transaction facilitated through intricate negotiations that sidestep the economic barriers imposed by the West.

Despite the formidable challenge of Western sanctions against Russia, India's resolve to upgrade its naval fleet has led to the procurement of two advanced frigates, with the first expected to join the Indian Navy in September and the second shortly after, in early next year. This is reported by Bloomberg.

This delivery is a notable achievement, albeit delayed by two years, a repercussion of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. This delay speaks volumes about the enduring partnership between India and Russia, and the lengths to which nations will go to honor their defense agreements, all while navigating the treacherous waters of international sanctions.

The frigates in question are not ordinary vessels but are equipped with state-of-the-art guided missile systems and stealth technology.

Originally, these ships were to be powered by Ukrainian-made gas turbines, a plan that hit a snag when the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 brought Ukrainian-Russian trade to a standstill.

India managed to secure the necessary equipment through third countries, showcasing the country's adaptability and strategic thinking.

The imposition of US sanctions on Russia following the Ukrainian conflict posed a significant obstacle, freezing arms supplies to India for over a year.

However, the resilience of the Indo-Russian partnership came to the fore as both nations found creative solutions to bypass payment and supply issues, although the specifics of these arrangements remain under wraps.

Interestingly, India has been compensating for these transactions through a diversified payment system involving rupees, UAE dirhams, and dollars, further illustrating the complex financial engineering that underpins modern military trade.

India's status as the top importer of Russian oil by sea also highlights the multifaceted relationship between the two countries, which extends well beyond military cooperation. This energy partnership is pivotal, considering the ongoing global reconfiguration of energy supplies and demands.

The United States, despite its stringent sanctions regime against Russia, has notably refrained from penalizing India for its continued trade and military engagements with Moscow.

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