Rajnath holds talks with Russian counterpart to bolster defence, strategic cooperation

Moscow, September 3

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday mentioned he had an “excellent meeting” together with his Russian counterpart Gen Sergey Shoigu right here and mentioned a variety of points, particularly methods to deepen defence and strategic cooperation.

Singh, who arrived right here on Wednesday on a three-day go to to attend an important assembly of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), pressed for expediting provide of plenty of weapons methods, ammunition and spares to India by Russia beneath contracts which have been concluded earlier.

Taking to Twitter, Singh termed his talks with Shoigu as “excellent”.

“Excellent meeting with the Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Shoigu in Moscow today. We talked about a wide range of issues, particularly how to deepen defence and strategic cooperation between both the countries,” he mentioned in a tweet.

Earlier on Thursday, India and Russia finalised a serious deal for manufacturing AK-47 203 rifles in India, the official Russian media reported.

The AK-47 203 is the most recent and most superior model of the AK-47 rifle, which is able to exchange the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) 5.56×45 mm assault rifle.

The Indian Army has a requirement for round 770,000 AK-47 203 rifles, of which 100,000 shall be imported and the remaining shall be manufactured in India, Russia’s state-run Sputnik information company mentioned.

There was no official affirmation from the Indian authorities on the finalisation of the deal.

The rifles shall be manufactured in India as a part of the three way partnership Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), established between the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), the Kalashnikov Concern and Rosoboronexport—the Russian state company for navy exports, it mentioned.

Officials mentioned that Singh can also be more likely to request the Russian aspect to make sure the well timed supply of the S-400 missile defence methods to India. The supply of the primary batch of S-400 surface-to-air missile methods to India is scheduled by the tip of 2021.

Before departure, Singh in a tweet had mentioned that problems with mutual curiosity will determine in his talks with Shoigu.

“India and Russia are privileged Strategic Partners. Looking forward to further this partnership during my visit,” he mentioned.

It is 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.

Singh can even attend a gathering of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation right here on Friday which shall be attended by the defence ministers of the eight member nations.

They are anticipated to deliberate on regional safety challenges like terrorism and extremism and methods to take care of them collectively.

The assembly is happening beneath the shadow of a fierce border row between India and China, each members of the influential bloc.

The SCO includes eight member states—India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Chinese Defence Minister Gen Wei Fenghe and Pakistan’s Pervez Khattak are anticipated to attend the SCO assembly.

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 take care of peace, stability and safety of the area. India turned a member of the SCO in 2017. — PTI

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