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Visa-free Travel Agreement Between India, Russia Likely By End of 2024

Kondratyev stressed that the intent of this initiative is to replicate the success of visa-free tourist exchanges which are already operational with China and Iran. Visa-free Travel Agreement Between India,...

Kondratyev stressed that the intent of this initiative is to replicate the success of visa-free tourist exchanges which are already operational with China and Iran.

Visa-free Travel Agreement Between India, Russia Likely By End of 2024

Kondratyev stressed that the intent of this initiative is to replicate the success of visa-free tourist exchanges which are already operational with China and Iran. Notably, Russia and China initiated their visa-free group tourist exchange on August 1 of the preceding year, followed by a similar initiative with Iran on the same date.

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“India is at the final stage of internal state coordination,” Nikita Kondratyev, director of the Russian Economic Development Ministry’s Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects, was quoted by RT News as saying. Reflecting on recent tourism trends, the Russian capital witnessed a substantial influx of business tourists in 2023, totaling 3.7 million, marking a 7% increase from the previous year.

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The initiative aligns with Russia’s broader strategy to bolster international tourism and cultural exchanges. The Ministry of Economic Development had previously announced plans to implement visa-free exchanges with India by the close of 2024, reflecting upon the importance of India in Russia’s tourism and economic strategies.

India-Russia Military Relations

Russia is the second-largest arms exporter in the world, following only the United States.

For Russia, India is the largest importer, and for India, Russia is the largest exporter when it comes to arms transfer.

Between 2000 and 2020, Russia accounted for 66.5% of India’s arms imports.

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Russia’s share in Indian arms imports was down to about 50% between 2016 and 2020, but it still remained the largest single importer.

Four of the Navy’s 10 guided-missile destroyers are Russian Kashin class, and 6 of its 17 frigates are Russian Talwar class.

The only aircraft carrier in service with India, INS Vikramaditya is a Soviet-made Kiev-class vessel that came into service for the Indian Navy in 2013. The BrahMos missile, which India will begin exporting soon, has been developed jointly with Russia.

Russia has also been one of main exporters of fighter aircraft to India, including hundreds of Sukhoi and MiG jets. All six of the service’s air tankers are Russian-made Il-78s. Indian Army’s main battle tank force is composed predominantly of Russian T-72M1 (66%) and T-90S (30%).

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