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Russia reaffirms support to India's counter-terror actions

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: November 6, 2019  | 21:21 IST

New Delhi, Nov 6 (PTI) Russia on Wednesday reaffirmed its strong support to India in effectively dealing with terrorism, saying it accords priority to New Delhi's security interests in the region. Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Shoigu made the remarks during a delegation-level meeting with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh in Moscow, according to the defence ministry here. The 19th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation, co-chaired by Singh and Shoigu, deliberated on all key aspects of defence and security ties between the two countries. In a significant move, the two ministers directed their respective teams to work closely for early conclusion of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Agreement on Reciprocal Logistics Support. The defence ministry said General Shoigu agreed to Singh's request to constitute specific working groups for after-sales support of key defence platforms being used by Indian armed forces. "Both sides agreed to intensify efforts to finalise cooperation programme for 2021-2030 period," the ministry said. Russia has been one of India's key major suppliers of arms and ammunition. However, it has been a long-standing grievance of armed forces that supply of critical spares and equipment from Russia takes a long time affecting maintenance of military systems procured from that country. "The Russian side reaffirmed its strong support to India in the field of counter-terrorism and stated that it accords priority to New Delhi's security interests in the region," the ministry said. Indian security forces are engaged in checking cross-border terrorism in Kashmir. In February, the Indian Air Force carried out a major operation, bombing a terrorist training camp in Pakistan's Balakot. "The Russian defence minister underlined Moscow's commitment to extend all possible support in enhancing India's defence capabilities, including cooperation in advance and cutting-edge technology. Singh appreciated Russia's steadfast support," it said. The Russian side also affirmed its readiness to operationalise the joint venture lndo-Russia Rifles Pvt Ltd for the manufacture of Kalashnikov AK 203 rifles in India at the earliest. The two sides also exchanged views on a range of international issues of common concern, and General Shoigu briefed Singh on Russian operations in Syria, the ministry said. The ministers reviewed the progress of the two working groups on military and military technical cooperation and it was agreed that the forthcoming tri­-service Indra exercises will be a major milestone in defence ties. "As a special gesture, the Russian defence minister requested Singh for participation of an lndian military contingent in Army Parade on the occasion of 75th anniversary of the victory in the Second World War," the ministry said. "Russian President Vladimir Putin has already extended an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the celebrations. Singh assured that an Indian contingent would be participating in the parade," it said. PTI MPB SMN

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