India, Russia to talk defence co-production

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 05, 2019 12:59 hrs
Weapon (AP photo)

New Delhi: India will discuss modalities with Russia pertaining to defence co-production during Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's three-day visit to the transcontinental nation, officials said here on Monday.

Singh will embark on his visit to Russia on Monday. During the visit, he will co-chair the 19th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-M&MTC).

According to officials in the Defence Ministry, Singh will also hold extensive discussions with his Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu covering all areas of military-to-military cooperation and defence industrial cooperation. He will also inaugurate, along with the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, the India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference.

"The conference will discuss ways to promote defence industrial cooperation between India and Russia, technology transfer and investment in India in defence industry under the 'Make in India' programme," said a Defence Ministry statement.

As per sources, a delegation of defence industry captains is also accompanying Singh to Russia in order to explore avenues of strategic partnerships in spare and equipment production. There has been no word from the Defence Ministry yet whether Singh is expected to enter into deals with Russia, if any, for purchase of platforms, equipment or arms during the visit.

Officials though confirmed that Singh might visit Russian defence production facilities in and around St Petersburg during his tour to the country. Singh is scheduled to visit St Petersburg where he will place a wreath at the Piskarevsky Memorial Cemetery honouring soldiers and civilians who lost their lives during the Second World War.

Last week, Singh had travelled to Tashkent, Uzbekistan where he represented India at the Council of Heads of Government meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. India and Uzbekistan signed three MoUs pertaining to military education and military medicine during the course of his three-day visit to the Central Asian country.