As part of the continuing high-profile defence relationship between India and Russia, the Navy chief, Admiral Karambir Singh, will be visiting Russia later this month.
The Russian Navy will celebrate its 325th anniversary with parades in St. Petersburg and Kronstadt, and of course, India has been invited. What would interest Admiral Singh, an aviator, would be the presence of the MiG-29K (already with the Indian Navy) and the Sukhoi-33 as part of the function as also, other planes and helicopters. There will be parades in other places on July 25, Russian Navy Day, notably in Vladivostok, in the Far East and Sebastopol, in the Crimea.
A meeting with Admiral Nikolai Yemenov, the Soviet Navy chief, is likely during the visit as well. Both countries have worked closely for years and currently, Russia is building two Admiral Grigorovich class frigates for the Navy in a Kaliningrad shipyard, to be delivered in three years. Two more will be built in Goa.
Russia has supplied India with nuclear-powered submarines and apart from one currently with India, negotiations for another is continuing. Russia has offered a third, as well. Spares has been a problem in the past and the could come up during the discussions.
The visit also comes in the wake of an agreement by India and Russia to have annual 2 plus 2 discussions– meetings between the external affairs minister S.Jaishankar and defence minister Rajnath Singh and their Russian counterparts.