Defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who is on his two-day visit to Moscow, has raised the issue of the recent arms sales to Pakistan. Despite valuing its partnership with Russia, India has shown its unease over reports that high-end equipment is being made on offer to Pakistan.
The agreement is believed to have been finalised during Pakistan Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif’s visit to Russia in June earlier this year. This is significant given that Moscow has for long ignored Islamabad in a bit to please its long term ally New Delhi, but as a result of India’s growing tilt towards the US, Russia has now begun to expand its cooperation with Pakistan.
Though, Indian authorities do not consider the chopper deal as having any major security implications, India is working to clarify reports that Pakistan and Russia are set to conduct their first military exercise.
However, officials told ET that relations between India and Russia are not in a slump as has been the perception in certain quarters.
As per a Economic Times
report, Parrikar who met his counterpart Sergei Shoigu discussed joint military and technical cooperation. They have also discussed joint military projects like the medium transport aircraft and the fifth generation fighter programme. According to official the new areas of cooperation have been identified and Moscow remains India’s leading defence and security partner.
Parrikar has also made the pitch for “Make in India” initiative, urging Russian entities to get involved with India’s defence manufacturing industry.
Meanwhile, during Parrikar’s visit, both the countries are expected to firm up the multi-billion dollar deal for the new generation Russian S-400 Triumf anti-ballistic missile system
. The S-400, an upgraded version of the S-300, had previously only been available to the Russian defence forces. The S-400, manufactured by Almaz-Antey, has been in service in Russia since 2007.