India, Russia resolve to strengthen defence cooperation
New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart, General Sergei Shoigu, vowed on Friday to strengthen the India-Russia military partnership while expressing satisfaction over the continued trust and mutual respect in the ties.
Singh and Shoigu held extensive talks, covering the regional security situation and key aspects of bilateral defence relations, including industrial partnership, at a meeting on the sidelines of a conclave of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) here.
An Indian readout of the meeting said the two ministers also discussed the Russian defence industry’s participation in the “Make in India” initiative in the defence manufacturing sector and ways to provide further impetus to it.
It said Singh and Shoigu discussed matters relating to regional peace and security as well.
“They expressed satisfaction over the continued trust and mutual respect between the two countries, particularly in defence, and reiterated their commitment towards strengthening the partnership,” the defence ministry said.
“They acknowledged the unique, long-lasting and time-tested relationship between India and Russia,” it added.
The ministry said Singh and Shoigu discussed wide-ranging issues of bilateral defence cooperation.
“The two ministers discussed wide-ranging issues of bilateral defence cooperation, including military-to-military ties as well as industrial partnership,” it said.
“They also discussed the Russian defence industry’s participation in the ‘Make in India’ initiative and ways to provide further impetus to it,” the ministry added.
In a tweet, Singh described the meeting as “excellent”.
Shoigu’s visit to India came days after Russian Deputy Prime minister Denis Manturov travelled to the country.
During his India visit, Manturov held extensive talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Singh also held separate bilateral meetings with his Uzbek counterpart, Lieutenant General Bakhodir Kurbanov, and Kyrgyzstan’s Lieutenant General Bekbolotov B Asankalievich.
He also held talks with Belarusian Defence Minister Lieutenant General Victor Khrenin.
“The entire gamut of defence cooperation with the three countries was reviewed during the meetings, with a focus on identifying beneficial avenues for furthering bilateral ties,” the defence ministry said.
“Issues of mutual interest were also discussed,” it added.
Singh also met SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming and discussed various activities undertaken by India under its SCO chairmanship with him.
The defence minister informed Ming that India is committed to contributing constructively to the implementation of the SCO’s mandate.