India, US sign space MoU during 2+2 meeting
GS Paper - 2 (International Relations)
A pact to share information on space activities was signed by the US and India during the 2+2 meeting of their diplomatic and defence leaders in Washington. The Space Situational Awareness Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aims to protect the satellites of the two countries.
- The 2+2 meeting takes place under the cloud of Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the divergent approach to it by India and the US.
- The two countries have important commitments that will drive technological innovation and cooperation in emerging defence domains, including space and cyberspace.
- Indian continues to acquire key US defence platforms, and that is forging important new ties between our defence industrial bases.
- India has tried to stay neutral on the Russian invasion given its dependence on Moscow for vital defence supplies and abstained on eight Ukraine-related votes at the UN.
- The US, which is leading the global response to the invasion, prefers India to take a stronger stand against Russia.
- But the 2+2 focus on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, where the two countries are strategically more aligned.
- The 2+2 meetings held since 2018 alternate between the two capitals and its fourth edition, which was to have been held in December, was postponed because of the visit of Russian President Vladimir to New Delhi that month.
- This year's event will celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations between India and the US.