On India’s request, Russia reiterates policy of no arms supply to Pakistan

Russia has reiterated its policy of no arms supply to Pakistan following India’s request on the same, according to sources.

Russia made the commitment during the meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart Gen Sergey Shoigu in Moscow, sources said.

Singh is currently on a three-day visit to Russia for attending the combined meeting of Defence Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and participating in the 75th anniversary event to commemorate Victory Day.

The one-hour meeting between Singh and his Russian counterpart at the Russian Ministry of Defence covered a broad range of areas of cooperation between the two countries including defence and security.

“Excellent meeting with the Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Shoigu in Moscow today. We talked about a wide range of issues, particularly how to deepen defence and strategic cooperation between both the countries,” Singh tweeted on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the 11th edition of exercise Indra Navy, a biennial bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy is scheduled in the Bay of Bengal from September 4 to 5.

The Defence Minister noted that these exercises demonstrated the common interests of both countries in maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region, according to a statement by India’s Defence Ministry.

“There was a substantial commonality in positions with respect to challenges at the regional and international levels in the areas of peace and security, reflective of the deep trust and confidence that both sides enjoy as strategic partners,” it said.

Singh conveyed appreciation for the steadfast support provided by Russia consistent with the defence and security needs of India, and in this context, particularly noted the timely manner in which the Russian side had responded to requests for procurement of particular weapon systems.

Both sides would continue to maintain contacts to ensure the timely delivery, the statement said.

The Defence Minister briefed Gen Shoigu on the ‘Make-in-India’ defence programme in the context of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Aatma Nirbhar Bharat vision. Both sides welcomed the advance stage of discussions for the establishment in India of an India-Russian Joint Venture for the production of AK203 assault rifles, which are considered one of the most modern weapons available for infantry forces.

“This provides very positive basis for further engagement of Russian defence industry in ‘Make-in-India’ programme. Gen. Shoigu reiterated commitment of the Russian side to engage actively with Ministry of Defence, Government of India to ensure the success of ‘Make-in-India’ programme including substantial participation in the forthcoming Aero India Exhibition to be held in February next year,” the statement said.

Singh extended an invitation for his Russian counterpart to visit India for the next meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission for Technical and Military Cooperation,, which is expected to be held towards the end of this year.

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