Russia to expedite defence deals: Indian defence minister

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Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said that he has been assured by Russia that ongoing bilateral defence hardware supply contracts would be not only maintained but in a number of cases taken forward faster.

“My discussions were very positive and productive. I have been assured that ongoing contracts will be maintained and not just maintained, in a number of cases will be taken forward in a shorter time,” a press statement issued by the Indian Defence Ministry in New Delhi on Tuesday night quoted Singh as saying.

His remarks came after talks with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov discussing India-Russia defence ties.

Singh is in Moscow on a three-day visit, the first foreign visit from India by an official delegation after the Covid-19 pandemic and Singh said “this is a sign of our special friendship.”

“Despite all the difficulties of the pandemic, our bilateral relations are keeping good contacts at the various levels. India-Russia relations are one of special and privileged strategic partnership,” Singh said.

The Indian Defence Minister, whose visit to Russia came in the midst of India-China military faceoff in Ladakh, said, “Our defence relationship is one of its important pillars. I had an opportunity to review our defence relationship with Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov and I thank him for the honour for visiting me in this hotel, despite the restrictions of the pandemic. ”

He said, “All our proposals have received positive response from the Russian side. I am fully satisfied with my discussions.”

Earlier on Tuesday morning, Indian Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar had discussions with his counterpart Deputy Defence Minister Fomin on bilateral defence cooperation.

“I can say with confidence that the traditional friendship between India and Russia remain strong. Our mutual interests are solid and we look to future cooperation in the spirit of our special friendship.

Singh is visiting Moscow at the invitation of the Russian Defence Minister to attend the 75th Anniversary of Victory Day Parade to mark the Soviet Union’s triumph against Nazi Germany.

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