India is all set to conclude the bilateral logistics agreement with Russia (the Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELOS)) soon.
- RELOS will be an important step forward in the military sphere as it aims at fostering interoperability and sharing of logistics. The “long overdue” agreement was to have come up for signing in 2019 but that was put off pending finalisation of its terms.
- India has logistical exchange agreements with six other countries, including Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, partners US, Japan and Australia. Singapore, France and South Korea are the other countries with which similar arrangements have been effected.
What are logistics agreements?
- The 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 when operating away from India.
- India has signed several logistics agreements with all Quad countries, France, Singapore and South Korea beginning with the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the U.S. in 2016.
- The Navy has been the biggest beneficiary of these administrative arrangements, signed with several countries, improving operational turnaround and increasing inter-operability on the high seas.
What is LEMOA?
- It is a tweaked India-specific version of the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), which the U.S. has with several countries it has close military to military cooperation. It is also one of the three foundational agreements — as referred to by the U.S.
- LEMOA gives access, to both countries, to designated military facilities on either side for the purpose of refuelling and replenishment.