Monday, January 25, 2021

No Weapons To Pakistan; Russia Assures India Of No Business With Islamabad At Moscow Meet

Russia, India’s historical ally, has assured New Delhi that it won’t sell arms to Pakistan. This was discussed during a meeting between Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart Gen. Sergei Goishu in Moscow.

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Singh, accompanied by a delegation including Defense Secretary and other senior officials are on a visit to Moscow to participate in the 75th Anniversary Event to commemorate Victory Day by the Russian Federation in the meeting of Defence Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.

Notably, the visit coincides with the joint exercises being conducted by the navies of India and Russia off the Straits of Malacca, a decision taken after India pulled out from Kavkaz-2020 military exercises conducted by Russia.

The drills take place at the same location where the Indian Navy is all set to host the Malabar-2020 joint naval exercises with the United States, Japan, and possibly Australia.

“There was a substantial commonality in positions with respect to challenges at the regional and international levels in the areas of peace and security, reflective of the deep trust and confidence that both sides enjoy as Strategic Partners,” stated the Ministry of Defense.

The meeting comes at a key point when Indian and PLA soldiers continue to engage in provocative actions in Eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control, the border between India and China.

In response to the heightened tensions, the Indian government started off to hastily acquire international support, making reforms in its indigenous defense manufacturing and ordering new aircraft and weapon systems from Russia and other countries.

“Raksha Mantri conveyed appreciation for the steadfast support provided by Russia consistent with the defense and security needs of India, and in this context, particularly noted the timely manner in which the Russian had responded to requests for procurement of particular weapon systems. Both sides would continue to maintain contacts to ensure the timely delivery,” the statement said.

The Russian defense minister also appreciated the ‘Make in India’ campaign and reiterated Moscow’s commitment to engage with the Indians to ‘ensure the success of the program’ including participation in the forthcoming Aero India Exhibition to be held in February next year. Both sides also welcomed the advances in the procurement of the AK-203 assault rifles.

Singh also extended an invitation for General Shoigu to visit India for the next meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission for Technical & Military Cooperation which is expected to be held towards the end of this year.

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