Defence minister Rajnath to go away for Russia on Wednesday to attend SCO meet

New Delhi, September 1

Defence minister Rajnath Singh will go away for Russia on Wednesday to attend an important assembly of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which is going down underneath the shadow of an escalating border row between India and China, two of the bloc’s key members.

Besides attending the SCO defence ministers’ assembly on September 4, Singh will maintain talks with Russian defence minister Sergey Shoigu and several other different prime army officers with an intention to expedite implementation of quite a few procurement programmes, officers stated.

Singh will depart from Moscow on the night of September 5, they stated.

Chinese Defence Minister Gen Wei Fenghe can be anticipated to attend the SCO assembly.

The defence minister’s go to comes simply days after India withdrew from a multilateral conflict recreation to be held in Russia, and anticipated to be attended by the Chinese and Pakistani troops.

Asked about the potential of a bilateral assembly between Singh and Chinese defence minister Wei on the sidelines of the SCO occasion, officers stated there isn’t any such plan.

The SCO defence ministers’ assembly is going down within the wake of recent pressure between India and China following Chinese military’s unsuccessful makes an attempt to alter the established order on the southern financial institution of Pangong lake in jap Ladakh.

The two sides have held a number of rounds of diplomatic and army talks to finish the border standoff which started on May 5.

The recent makes an attempt by China to alter the established order within the Pangong lake space escalated the stress additional.

Russia has already stated that India and China ought to resolve the border dispute by means of talks and {that a} “constructive” relationship between the 2 international locations was essential for regional stability.

It will probably be Singh’s second go to to Moscow since June. He had represented India on the Victory Day Parade in Moscow on June 24 that commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany within the Second World War.

Russia has additionally invited External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to attend the SCO overseas ministers’ assembly on September 10.

In his bilateral assembly with Russian Defence Minister Shoigu, Singh is prone to press for early provide of varied weapons and spares to the Indian armed forces underneath defence contracts concluded earlier.

In the talks, either side are anticipated to formally finalise a long-pending proposal to supply AK 203 rifles in India.

Officials stated Singh can be prone to request the Russian facet to make sure well timed supply of the S-400 missile defence techniques to India.

The supply of the primary batch of S-400 surface-to-air missile techniques to India is scheduled by the top of 2021.

In October 2018, India had signed a USD 5 billion cope with Russia to purchase 5 items of the S-400 air defence missile techniques, however warning from the Trump administration that going forward with the contract might invite US sanctions.

Last yr, India made the primary tranche of fee of round USD 800 million to Russia for the missile techniques.

Officials stated the SCO assembly is prone to deliberate on regional safety eventualities and methods to cope with numerous threats and challenges.

The SCO, seen as a counterweight to NATO, has emerged as one of many largest transregional worldwide organisations which accounts for nearly 44 per cent of the world inhabitants stretching from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean and from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea.

The intention of the SCO is to keep up peace, stability and safety of the area. India and Pakistan turned members of SCO in 2017. PTI

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