Speaking Of Asia

India's strategic pas de deux: Is France replacing Russia?

Delhi’s recent diplomatic dance moves reveal interesting shifts, not least towards the French, who can offer weapons and UN support currently supplied by the Russians

India had placed an order for 36 planes, including three Rafales, from French manufacturer Dassault Aviation. PHOTO: AFP
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In March last year, three Rafale multi-role fighters flying from Dassault Aviation's manufacturing base in France to join the Indian Air Force fleet were provided mid-air refuelling by an Airbus tanker owned by the United Arab Emirates Air Force.

When the Indians asked the UAE to invoice them for the service rendered, they were pleasantly surprised at the response: No charge. If we cannot do this small favour for you, what good is our special relationship?

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