Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Making Friends and Influencing People

While India wants better Western weapons and Western friendship as they watch China growing in power across the mountains and edging into the Indian Ocean, India also wants to retain the friendship of nuclear-armed Russia which shares a long border with China and is potentially a counter-weight to Chinese ambitions at India's expense.

India is buying more Russian weapons:

Russia and India signed weapons deals worth billions of dollars Monday as President Vladimir Putin sought to further boost ties with an old ally.

Putin and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailed cooperation between their countries as officials signed a $1.6 billion deal for 42 Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets that will be license-built in India from Russian components and a $1.3 billion contract for the delivery of 71 Mil Mi-17 military helicopters.

"We agreed to further strengthen the traditions of close cooperation in the military and technical areas," Putin said after the signing.

If India and China fight, India would rather have Russia cut off arms supplies and support to China than to India. Staying a paying customer is key to that kind of friendship.