Kashmir Indepth

Defence cooperation one of most important pillars of India-Russia partnership: Rajnath Singh


New Delhi, Dec 6  (KINS): Underlining the importance of the time-tested relations between India and Russia, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that defence cooperation is one of the most important pillars of the bilateral partnership and thanked Russia for its strong support.

“Defence cooperation is one of the most important pillars of our partnership. India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) is a well-established mechanism for the past two decades. I hope the India-Russia partnership will bring peace to the entire region and provide stability to the region,” said Singh in his opening remarks during a meeting with Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Shoigu.

“India-Russia relations are time-tested, based on a common interest in multilateralism, global peace, prosperity and mutual understanding and trust,” he added.

Rajnath Singh also appreciated Russia’s strong support for India. “Our close cooperation is not targeted against any country. We hope that our partnership will bring peace and prosperity to the entire region,” he added.

Rajnath Singh met with Shoigu here in Delhi and held talks on the Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC), considered as a major issue in the context of bilateral relations.

The Military-Technical Cooperation between the two countries enshrines the interest to further develop and strengthen the military and technical cooperation in the sphere of research and development, production and after-sales support of armament systems and various military equipment.

The two Defence Ministers meet annually, alternately in Russia and India, to discuss and review the status of ongoing projects and other issues of military-technical cooperation

The two leaders met ahead of the first 2+2 ministerial dialogue between India and Russia today. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu will also participate in the meet.

In the first 2+2 format dialogue today, India and Russia will discuss key bilateral, regional and international issues,incl the situation in Afghanistan post-Taliban takeover, threats emanating from terror groups, protection of human rights of minorities, women and children in Afghanistan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold the 21st annual India-Russia summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Both countries are expected to sign more than 10 agreements following annual talks between PM Modi and President Putin. These agreements will be in the fields of space, culture, science and technology, defence etc. (KINS)

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