As far as I am concerned, they would simply be formalising a known fact.
'India, Russia may invite China to join fighter aircraft project'
By Amit Baruah
NEW DELHI, JUNE 26. India and Russia are thinking in terms of inviting China to become part of their plans to develop a fifth generation, multi-role fighter aircraft, the outgoing Russian Ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, said today.
In an interview, Mr. Kadakin, an India veteran who has done three stints in the country during his career, told this correspondent: "We [India and Russia] are also thinking of inviting China for such a huge [fighter] project. It will be a machine of a new generation, which will need a lot of money and intellectual investment."
An agreement to jointly develop such an aircraft was clinched between Russia and India in November 2001.
Mr. Kadakin, who leaves for home on July 1, confirmed that India and Russia were thinking in terms of selling the Brahmos missile to third countries.
"Some South-East Asian countries are interested. Also, you know that the Brahmos missile will be inducted into the Indian Army and the Russian armed forces. We have a big market for this state-of-the-art missile, which is one of the best in the world."
Asked about the delivery of the refitted aircraft carrier, Gorshkov, a deal for whose purchase was signed between the two countries in January, Mr. Kadakin, a fluent Hindi speaker, said the delivery would take place sometime in 2008.
To a question whether Russia had any plans to send troops to Iraq under the new United Nations Security Council (which Moscow voted for), he said the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, had said very clearly that his country would never send its troops to Iraq.
"And, we do not recommend our friends to send troops there. The emergence of Iraqi nationhood, of real Iraqi rule still has many questions," he said.
There is much talk of a strategic partnership between nations these days, but what does this mean for India and Russia in concrete terms? "Strategic partners means that we support each other in our joint vision of the world. We are against a so-called unipolar world; we stand for a multipolar world. We are for political cooperation, we are against terrorism together."
Mr. Kadakin said he did not know of any two countries that cooperated in the military sphere as closely as India and Russia. "Then we have very big economic projects like [the] Koodankulam [nuclear power project]. All this covers strategic partnership. Strategic, in my understanding, is cooperation that will last for decades. It will continue despite the changes that take place in this country, in Russia or anywhere else."
Does he expect any shift in emphasis from the new Government in India? "I don't think so, nothing will change. In Russia and India, there is a very strong national consensus on the desirability of having good relations. Whatever government comes to power here or in Russia, our bilateral relations will continue to flourish."
"The new alliance that has come to power has as its major component, the Indian National Congress; and the Nehru-Gandhi family have been true pioneers of Russian-Indian cooperation," he said, adding that while he dealt with the BJP-led Government during his stint as Ambassador, they knew he had been a "good friend" of the Congress. According to Mr. Kadakin, the previous Government gave "enough and sufficient attention" to relations with Russia and referred to the annual summits that had been taking place since 2000.
Describing Koodankulam as a "strategic pilot project for India," the outgoing envoy said he was hopeful that trade between the two countries would pick up next year when hard currency transactions would begin. What is the principal memory he carries back from New Delhi? "It's my second home. I can't imagine life without India. That is the greatest memory but, of course, there are so many other memories. I remember interactions with Indira Gandhi, with Rajiv [Gandhi], with Sonia [Gandhi]. I remember their children when they were still small. I remember when former Prime Minister [Atal Bihari] Vajpayee was Foreign Minister [in the Morarji Desai Government] and he spoke only Hindi. It was at the time when my Hindi came very handy."