India and Russia are not only considering joint projects in the Central Asian region. Still, they are also considering partnerships in the Indian Ocean Territory (IOR), which is often regarded as the backyard of New Delhi.

The partnership planned at IOR was announced at the first 2+2 Ministerial Meeting on December 6. The cooperation plan may include:

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  • Additional port calls by Russian Navy vessels at ports in India.
  • Increased joint exercises in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • Trilateral naval exercises with IOR friendly countries.

Vietnam and Iran have the potential to become two partners in trilateral exercises due to their close defence partnership with Moscow. At the same time, other South and Southeast Asian countries may participate in the fight. The India-Russia Relations Memorandum of Understanding on Navy cooperation will be signed in 2022.

Russia has recently expanded its ties with Sri Lanka and significant ASEAN countries, and the NSA has visited the region. According to the reports, India supports the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific regions, and Russia’s interest in these geographical regions contributes to that goal.

Russia’s approval as a dialogue partner of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) has opened up many opportunities for cooperation with India, including scientific and research endeavours.

India is recalled to support Russia’s application to become an IORA dialogue partner and request Moscow to play a role in the IOR. India and Russia will soon sign the Mutual Logistics Agreement.

Russia is now playing an active role in anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia, announcing the establishment of a naval facility in Sudan and developing into an essential partner in Mozambique and Madagascar. It is interesting to note that Moscow has expanded contacts with Indian neighbours at IOR. Russia and Sri Lanka have strengthened defence and military cooperation for many years. There are also reports that Russia plans to acquire a naval base in Myanmar.

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