India, Ukraine sign strategic defense cooperation pact
Looking to expand ties in the security field and strengthen existing military arms and ammunition business ties, India and Ukraine signed a defense framework agreement.
“Ukraine’s expertise in defense technologies is well established and offers synergies with our own defense technology base. The two nations were already undertaking defense projects under bilateral cooperation and the latest defense agreement establishes a new framework for expanding the ties,” India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said after the agreement was signed.
Ukraine is involved in upgrading 100 AN-32 medium transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force [IAF] in a $400 million deal that was signed in 2009. Of the 100 aircraft, Ukraine will upgrade 25, while the rest will be modernized at IAF facilities in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
During the Soviet era, Ukraine was a key part of defense industrial complex. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine emerged as one of the top 10 defense producers, manufacturing battle tanks and military planes.
Ukraine also inherited shipyards in capital Kiev and Nikolayev where aircraft carriers were constructed, including India’s INS Vikramaditya [the ship had been named Admiral Gorshkov] and China’s Liaoning [the ship had been named Varyag]. The ships were retrofitted in Russia before being sold.
“India’s linkages with Ukraine in the field of space science date back to the commencement of our space program. I am pleased that we are currently cooperating on advanced space launch vehicles. We have also broadened our scientific cooperation to draw upon the rich science and technology base that both countries possess. Agreement on science and technology cooperation will greatly facilitate deeper engagement in this important area,” Singh said during a December 2012 visit by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Singh complimented Yanukovych for hosting the Kiev Summit on Safe and Innovative Use of Nuclear Energy in April 2011 -- the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident.
“The unfortunate Chernobyl accident has given Ukraine valuable insight and knowledge in dealing with this critical issue. Through the agreement between Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India and the State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine, that has just been signed between the nuclear regulatory authorities of both countries, we have agreed to share our experiences in nuclear safety and radiation protection,” Singh said.
Defense and space sector cooperation
After signing the defense cooperation agreement, both sides expressed confidence that this would open new vistas of cooperation especially in the areas of research and development; joint design and development of systems and equipment; export to third countries; and transfer of technology. The agreement also would allow regular dialogue between the two sides in new areas of cooperation.
In the space sector, India and Ukraine have expressed satisfaction over the growing cooperation between their space establishments, particularly in the area of semi-cryogenic engine technology for large lift-off capacities and acknowledge the successful implementation of the framework agreement signed in 2005.
UN Security Council
Ukraine supports India’s candidacy for permanent membership in an expanded UN Security Council [UNSC]. Officials stressed the need for intensified negotiations on UN Security Council reform, including the expansion of permanent and non-permanent categories of its members to better reflect contemporary geopolitical realities.
India expressed its support for Ukraine’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council for the term 2016-2017 and said that there has to be enhanced representation of Eastern European states among the non-permanent members.
Ukraine acknowledged India’s track record on nuclear non-proliferation and welcomed India’s efforts to contribute to global non-proliferation regimes, including its aspirations to obtain membership in international export control regimes and the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group.
The bilateral trade turnover between the two countries has increased from $138.62 million in 1992 to $2.87 billion in 2011-12 and is expected to increase by another 50 percent in the coming years.
Recognizing Ukraine’s technological and engineering expertise, Indian officials invited Ukraine to invest in India's infrastructure development and the modernization of its industries, especially in the steel and power sectors.