Agreements like LEMOA — which facilitate mutual use of ports for refuelling — could also be signed with other countries such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and Britain. Modi and Putin met on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek in June. The RLSA will be a tri-service agreement. Similar agreements could be signed with Japan, South Korea, Australia and Britain

NEW DELHI: India signed the LEMOA or the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement with the United States in August 2016. A similar agreement with Russia is likely in the next two months.

The Reciprocal Logistics Support Agreement (RLSA) is being readied and could happen in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is expected to be in Vladivostok for the East Asia Summit in September.

The RLSA will be a tri-service agreement, meaning that the Russians could not only use ports like Mumbai and Vishakhapatnam for refuelling but also, airports after the agreement is signed. India, of course, could do the same, when it came to Russian ports and airbases. Interestingly, global warming makes the signing of the agreement with Russia, one of India's closest defence allies, more imperative.

A high-level government official pointed out that the "Northern Arctic could well be upon for longer periods because of global warming. And also, India is looking at an Arctic station in the near future." Currently, there are monitoring stations manned by Indian environmental scientists in Svalbard, in Norway.

Russia is looking for a greater Indian role during the East Asia Summit. They have requested India for the presence of a warship to be anchored off Vladivostok during the summit. This could well be a frigate or destroyer of the Indian Navy made by an Indian shipyard.