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G7 Summit: PM Modi, Macron discuss India-France defence, civil nuclear deal I Why US, Russia should worry?

Notably, the crucial meeting of PM Modi with Macron came nearly 45 days before his scheduled visit to France where he was invited to attend the Parade in Paris.

Ajeet Kumar Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Hiroshima Updated on: May 20, 2023 17:44 IST
The leaders took stock of the entire gamut of India-France
Image Source : @PMOINDIA/TWITTER The leaders took stock of the entire gamut of India-France bilateral relations.

G7 Summit: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently on a tour to Japan's Hiroshima for the G7 Summit, met his French Excellency Emmanuel Macron, where leaders discussed a wide range of issues including co-production and manufacturing in the defence sector and civil nuclear cooperation.

Notably, the crucial meeting of PM Modi came nearly 45 days before his scheduled visit to France where he was invited to attend the Parade in Paris.  

According to the statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs, during the meeting, both sides emphasised cooperation in trade and economic spheres, civil aviation, renewables and culture. Besides, both leaders also agreed to expand the partnership to newer domains.

Why US and Russia should worry?

It is worth mentioning the bilateral meeting between Macron and PM Modi was crucial for India and France as New Delhi desperately needs nuclear submarines. The Indian Navy aims to procure new nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN) under Project 75 Alpha which costs around $15 billion-$20 billion. On several occasions, France offered New Delhi to assist in developing the mega project under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's most touted 'Make in India' initiative. 

As of now, Russia remains the first choice for India in terms of procuring defence equipment. However, with the wretched performance of Russian weapons in the ongoing war with Ukraine, it is likely New Delhi would explore its alternate options. Also, Moscow is currently facing multiple international sanctions, which eventually make it harder for Russia to deliver India's aspirations on time.

India's closeness with France is an alarming situation for Moscow and US

France, which is the second-largest arms supplier to India, wants to grab the opportunity of getting a big-ticket arms deal from New Delhi. Paris has already signed multiple contracts with the Government of India in the past. The Rafale fighter jet contract is one of the biggest arms deals that Paris currently has. Earlier, when Macron visited New Delhi in March, he offered India some great deals.  

Moreover, the Biden administration, which has pardoned India for procuring Russian arms despite immense pressure to impose CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act), would be alarming for Pentagon if India procures more weapons from France. 

Also Read: UK invites India to join AUKUS agreement. Will India join trilateral security pact?

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