Will India send a military contingent to participate in a war game in Russia?
Russia has been a major partner of India in the defence sector and the cooperation has been steadily growing further. In a few days from now, a multilateral war game is going to be held in the Astrakhan region in southern Russia from September 15 to 26. The participating countries include India’s neighbours – China and Pakistan in addition to a number of other member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), an influential regional grouping.
The SCO is viewed as a counter to NATO. It has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations. It accounts for nearly 44 per cent of the world population stretching from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean and from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea.
Earlier, India had communicated to Russia that it will participate in the said strategic command-post exercise. India had planned to send around 150 Indian Army troops, 45 Indian Air Force personnel and a number of Navy officers for the exercise. In June 2020, a tri-services contingent from India took part at the Victory Day Parade at the iconic Red Square in Moscow to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War. A contingent from China had also attended it.
But India has reviewed its earlier decision now. It may not participate in the exercise.