India-Australia meet strengthens ties
India and Australia raised their relationship to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” after a ‘virtual’ summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who concluded nine agreements including a Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) and issued a joint declaration on a “Shared Vision for Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.”
- The two countries also agreed to increase the frequency of meetings between the two Prime Ministers, and took the “2+2” format of bilateral meetings to the level of Foreign and Defence Ministers, who will meet to “discuss strategic issues” at least every two years.
- The two leaders, who are expected to meet in person at the extended G-7 summit to be held in the United States later this year, spoke for more than an hour over a video link, a first for a bilateral summit for India.
Military Logistics Support Agreements (MLSA)
- India is looking to conclude three Military Logistics Support Agreements (MLSA) by the year-end with Japan, Russia and Australia.
About Logisitics agreements
- Logistics agreements are administrative arrangements facilitating access to military facilities for exchange of fuel and provisions on mutual agreement, simplifying logistical support and increasing operational turnaround of the military away from India.
About Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA)
- It is a Military Logistics Support Agreements (MLSA) between Indian military and the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) to use each other’s bases for logistical support.
- The ACSA would permit the Indian Navy (IN) access to a Japanese base in Djibouti, while the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) would be permitted to use India’s military installations on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands located in the Indian Ocean, which lie near the Malacca Straits, next to other naval facilities.
About Agreement on Reciprocal Logistics Support (ARLS)
- It is a Military Logistics Support Agreements (MLSA) between India and Russia.
- The Russian agreement gives India access to its facilities in the Arctic region which is seeing increased global activity as new shipping routes are opening up and resources are becoming available.
- The Indian Navy, with a significant strength of Russian origin warships, will be able to smoothly transit through for exercises or refits using the agreement while the air force will find it easier to deploy aircraft for joint exercises.
- Following the agreement, Russians could not only use ports like Mumbai and Visakhapatnam.
- Besides ports Russia would also be able to access airbases.
- India could do the same, when it came to Russian ports and airbases.
- This includes access to Northern route and ports in Russian part of Arctic.
- India is looking at an Arctic station in near future and Russia could be partner.
- Russia has also assured India access to energy resources in the vast Arctic region.