India Reinforces Defence Ties with Russia
The Defence Minster Nirmala Sitharaman has visited Russia and met her counterpart General Sergey Shoygu as part of strengthening the bilateral ties and technical cooperation in defence. This has been on the side-lines of the Seventh Moscow Conference on International Security in April at Moscow. The ministers have discussed issues of bilateral importance, especially Military-to-Military Cooperation and other regional issues in a delegation level talk. She has also met the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Mr Denis Manturov and discussed improving bilateral ties with the country. The visit has also marked the closing of the year-long celebrations of the 70th Anniversary of India-Russia diplomatic relations.
The meeting included a review of the roadmap of military cooperation involving exercises, training, exchange of visits, and India’s participation in International Army Games to be held in Russia later this year. Both the leaders have reviewed ongoing military technical cooperation projects between the two countries, including measures to promote India-Russia joint industrial activities under the ‘Make in India’ programme with respect to defence production, especially for after-sales support. They have also discussed participation of Russian companies in DefExpo 2018.
Russia and India have decided to expedite negotiations for various military platforms soon and agreed to further ramp up bilateral defence cooperation. Russia has been one of India's key suppliers of arms and ammunition. The two countries are yet to finalise a nearly Rs 40,000-crore deal to procure S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems for the Indian armed forces. The meeting has discussed India’s long-term demand to Russia regarding the adoption of a liberal approach in sharing technology for components of major defence platforms as it was critical to keep them in operational readiness.
The official Twitter handle of the Defence Minister has tweeted “In order to reinforce defence cooperation between India and Russia with a focus on military technical cooperation, Smt @nsitharaman meets H E Army General Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Defence, Russia in Moscow,”. The discussion has also focused on enhancing defence production cooperation and creating synergy between the defence industries of the two countries.