The agreement also established an institutional mechanism for bilateral dialogue on defence and security. While significant in itself — India and the United States have long watched the islands visit with growing concern — it is extremely interesting to note that the U.S. decision to deepen its military relations with the Maldives was taken in consultation with India, which has long expressed unease at the idea of interference by extra-regional powers in its backyard. The Hindu noted yesterday that not only did India welcome the deal, but that US officials showed Indian officials a draft agreement between the US and the Maldives. Mariya Didi, Minister of Defense of the Maldives, and Reed Werner, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, sign the U.S.-Maldives Defense Framework Agreement. Photo: Ministry of Defense, Maldives India and Russia are in the final phase of signing a military logistics agreement, as New Delhi has already done with Washington, Canberra and Tokyo (among others). Since last year, India and Russia have also been promoting a Vladivostok-Chennai sea route. If both materialize — and how many India-Russia things do, if the “if” were to remain operational — the question remains whether the United States will welcome an increased Russian naval presence in the Indian Ocean, even as it intensifies its own relations with others in the region, such as the Maldives. New Delhi and Male on Monday during Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla`s visit to the Maldives signed four agreements, including a $100 million Indian grant for an ambitious connectivity project. .