India and Russia are working on fine-tuning a logistics agreement which will be ready to be signed during the annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The proposed agreement is similar to the ones India has signed with other countries, including the US and France. The two leaders will sign the agreement in October, reports The Hindu.
Under a logistics agreement, military facilities in partner countries can be used for refuelling of aircraft and ships, repair, maintenance, replenishment of provisions and as resting and transit points for soldiers. This increases turnaround time and also saves on costs when operating far from own borders.
US Navy ships regularly stop at Indian ports for refuelling and stocking up on essential supplies while Indian Navy ships do the same when they dock at Sabang port in Indonesia.
The Russian side sent a draft of the agreement which was forwarded by the Ministry of Defence to Integrated Defence Staff and the three services for their observations at the end of July. The Army and Navy have reverted with their views on the draft.
The idea behind the agreement is to increase operational flexibility and as Russia is India's long-term partner, it is prudent to have such an agreement in place.
Though consultations are on and drafts are being readied, officials are working hard to get the agreement ready before the October summit.
In August 2016, India signed Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (LEMOA) with the US after a decade of consultations.
Since then, India has signed similar agreements with France, Oman, Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia to use the Sabang port.
Australia is also keen to have a similar logistics facility in place with India and has sent a draft agreement.