India seeks greater military-tech alliance with Russia to tackle ‘unprovoked’ aggression from China

Amiti Sen | | | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021
(L-R) Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar during their meeting in New Delhi on December 6, 2021. - AFP

(L-R) Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar during their meeting in New Delhi on December 6, 2021. - AFP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Jaishankar, Rajnath Singh meet Russian counterparts for 2+2 dialogue; Modi, Putin to participate in bilateral summit later on Monday

India has enhanced requirement for closer military-technical cooperation with Russia and hopes that the country will remain a major partner in the current challenging circumstances, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said referring to the continued aggression from China at the northern borders of the country.

“I have had the opportunity to discuss in detail the emerging challenges India is confronted with and the enhanced requirement of India for closer military and military-technical cooperation with Russia. The pandemic, the extraordinary expansion of armaments in the neighbourhood and the unprovoked aggression on our Northern border since early summer of 2020 have thrown several challenges,” Singh said speaking at the inaugural event of the first 2+2 Dialogue on defence and foreign affairs in New Delhi on Monday. Singh, however, refrained from naming China directly.

The 2+2 Dialogue is being led by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu from the Russian side and India is being represented by Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Speaking at the meet, Shoigu pointed out that he and Singh have had detailed discussion on defence cooperation and made plans for the future. “I am confident that agencies in both countries would contribute to increase regional peace and cooperation,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin are scheduled to meet later in the day for a bilateral summit where the two are expected tol discuss greater cooperation in trade, defence and logistics.

Earlier on Monday, the two Defence Ministers had a bilateral discussion on defence cooperation at the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military & Military Technical Cooperation.

“Glad that a number of Agreements/Contracts/Protocols were signed pertaining to small arms and military cooperation,” Singh tweeted after the meeting. India deeply appreciates Russia’s strong support for India. We hope that our cooperation will bring peace, prosperity and stability to the entire region.

India-Russia ties

Singh said that India’s defence challenges were legitimate, real and immediate and it sought partners who are sensitive and responsive to India’s expectations and requirements.

Jaishankar, in his opening speech, pointed out that India-Russia ties are close and are time-tested, in the world that has changed so much, have been exceptionally steady.

“Our meeting gives us a suitable platform to discuss political and military issues that are of mutual interest and are inter related and cross cutting. Our discussion today will address the emergence of multi-polarity and re-balancing. We look too at the consequences of over centralised globalisation,” he said.

The Covid -19 pandemic has raised questions on the current model of global affairs, the Minister said, adding that the long-standing challenges remained even as new ones emerged. “Prominent among them are terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation. The situation in Afghanistan has wider repercussions including Central Asia....”, Jaishankar said.

The Russian Foreign Minister said that India and Russia advocated similar or identical positions on the most important political and military issues. “We speak in favour of international law reinforcing the collective principle of international affairs. We follow the principle of non-interference in domestic affairs of all countries. And we have deep respect for culture and civilisational diversity of our world. This creates a very good platform for productive work in the framework of the new India and Russia dialogue launched today” he said.

Published on December 06, 2021

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