In a history spanning seven decades, India and Argentina have cultivated a relationship that now stands on the cusp of further enhancement. Beyond longstanding ties, Argentina is engaged in negotiations with India for the acquisition of TEJAS fighters, marking a pivotal step towards bolstering defense collaboration.
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez’s imminent visit to India to attend the 18th G20 Summit could hold substantial significance for defense relations between the two nations. The strategic sectors of defense, mining, nuclear, and lithium have taken center stage in their discussions.
Argentina’s recent inclusion in the BRICS grouping, alongside India, Russia, Brazil, China, and South Africa, further underscores the evolving landscape in which Argentina views India as a leader of the Global South.
Lithium Diplomacy Takes Center Stage
Lithium, a critical resource in rechargeable batteries for an array of devices including mobile phones, laptops, electric vehicles, and even medical equipment like pacemakers, has become a focal point of discussion. Dinesh Bhatia, the Indian Ambassador to Argentina, has conducted pivotal meetings, notably with President Fernandez at the Casa Rosada, Argentina’s government headquarters.
Argentina acknowledges India’s proactive role in advancing the agenda of emerging economies, especially as the current G20 head. This shared commitment to cooperation is driving remarkable progress in deepening bilateral ties and advancing their strategic partnership. India’s interest in electromobility aligns with its pursuit of essential minerals like lithium and copper, positioning India as a regional leader in production chains.
Nuclear Energy Collaboration
Indian Ambassador Bhatia engaged with Mercedes Marco del Ponte, Secretary of Strategic Affairs of Argentina, in discussions vital to ongoing cooperation in strategic areas. Argentina’s Commission National de Energia Atomica (CNEA) and Combustibles Nucleares Argentinos (CONUAR) have also convened with Indian officials to explore collaboration on nuclear medicine, space metals, radioisotopes, heavy water, and other pertinent issues.
High Demand for HAL Weapons
Argentina’s aspiration to revamp its helicopter fleet includes plans for Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) and Advanced Light Helicopter (AHL) models through a productive cooperation project. India’s state-of-the-art fourth-generation Tejas fighter aircraft stands as a prominent contender for Argentina’s acquisition of 12 fighter jets, signaling a new phase in defense cooperation between Buenos Aires and New Delhi.