India and Russia, are not only exploring joint projects in Central Asian Region, but also exploring partnership in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), often viewed as New Delhi’s backyard.
The prospective partnership in IOR figured at the maiden 2+ 2 Ministerial meet on December 6. The agenda of cooperation may include additional port calls by Russian Navy ships to Indian ports, increasing joint exercises in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and even trilateral naval exercises with friendly countries in the IOR, ET has learnt.
While Vietnam and Iran could be two partners for trilateral exercises given their close defence partnership with Moscow, there could be other South Asian & SE Asian countries which can be in fray. A MoU between India and Russia on Navy to Navy Cooperation is expected to be signed in 2022.
Russia has recently enhanced its ties with Sri Lanka and key ASEAN states with its NSA undertaking a visit to the region. . India has backed an inclusive Indian Ocean Region and Indo-Pacific region and Russia’s interest in these geographical zones will contribute to that goal, according to an informed source.