Interview with Ruslan Pukhov

Russia and India are planning a joint mission to the moon. Political analyst Ruslan Pukhov says Russia is continuing a tradition begun by the USSR, of offering emerging powers assistance in space programmes as a kind of gift.

“For more than four decades we’ve been trading weapons with India. And under President Putin we are changing the paradigm. Instead of simply selling weapons, we will switch to creating new types of equipment for both our forces and, also, for export. We have a pilot project called ‘BraMos’ – the creation of Indian-Russian cruise missiles,” expert said.

“Now we have two major projects: medium transport aircraft, MTA, which was signed [on Tuesday] and an agreement signed several weeks ago during the visit of [Indian] Minister of Defence A. K. Antony about the fifth-generation fighter. Defence technology co-operation is critical,” he added.

“Trust is essential to this co-operation. And we can say that we are extremely comfortable with India. With other partners, we have some points of disagreement – like with the U.S. and China. India is probably the only partner with whom we have zero points of disagreement. That’s why our trust is so big. That’s why we can co-operate in such sensitive issues like defence. Defence can always be a trigger for other dual-use and civil areas of co-operation,” Pukhov concluded.