Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 169

The Indian parliament’s Defense Committee urged the government yesterday to move more quickly on an earlier deal to purchase some 40 Russian Su-30mk fighters and MiG-AT trainers. The committee accused the government of dragging its feet on the deal, which was originally announced in the spring of this year. At that time New Delhi reportedly paid $142 million to Rosvooruzheniye, the Russian State arms trading company, as a first installment on what was estimated to be a $1.8 billion deal. However the two sides have yet to finalize the package which the Defense Committee report said is stalling plans to modernize India’s fleet of outdated MiG-23 and MiG-27 fighters. (Itar-Tass, September 11)

In July, a Russian government official underscored the importance that arms sales play in the increasingly warm relations between Moscow and New Delhi. He said that the value of military-technical cooperation between the two countries had already doubled in 1996, and stood at $3.5 billion. Moreover, Moscow expects to be India’s major supplier in a broad military modernization program planned by New Delhi that Russian experts estimate could total some $7-8 billion by the end of this decade. (Interfax, July 19)

Belarus President Steps Up Pressure on Parliament…