Brushing aside Russian concerns that India may be drifting towards the US, particularly after the signing of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement with the US providing access to Americans to
Brushing aside Russian concerns that India may be drifting towards the US, particularly after the signing of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement with the US providing access to Americans to Indian military bases, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said Indo-Russian friendship had stood the test of time.
“Russia is India’s time-tested and closest partner and it will continue to remain our primary defence partner,” Parrikar said in his opening remarks at the 16th meeting of the India-Russia Intergovern-mental Commission on Military-Technical Co-operation (IRIGC-MTC).
However, he sought a more focused military-to-military cooperation. “While our military technical cooperation is progressing well, I feel that the traditional military-to-military cooperation needs more focus. The pace and depth of our exchanges at the level of chiefs, training of personnel in each other’s institutions, joint military exercises between all armed forces should be enhanced.”
On October 15, India and Russia signed 16 agreements on the sidelines of the Brics Summit in Goa which included supply of the powerful S-400 Triumf air defence systems, four new guided missile stealth frigates and setting up a joint venture to jointly manufacture Kamov 226T helicopters.
But the Russian media had reported that what was not made public in the announcement was a $2 billion deal to lease a multipurpose Project 971 nuclear submarine to India from the Russian Navy. While Parrikar led the Indian side, his counterpart General Sergey Shoigu led the Russian delegation.
The Russian media quoted Shoigu as saying that the two sides discussed issues pertaining to after-sales service of previously supplied military equipment.