Even as the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China remains tense, India on Tuesday posed great faith in its strategic partnership with Beijing’s close ally, Russia.
During his special three-day visit to Moscow, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the India-Russia bilateral relationship is a special and privileged strategic partnership, the future of which remains strong.
Singh is in Moscow at the invitation of the Russian Ministry of Defence to attend the Victory Day Parade to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the victory of the allies over Nazi Germany.
India-Russia relations, the minister said, are one of “special and privileged strategic partnership. Our defence relationship is one of its important pillars,” he added.
Singh reviewed India’s defence relationship in a meeting with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov, despite the restrictions of the pandemic.
The discussions, Singh said, were very positive and productive. He said Russia had assured him that the ongoing defence contracts will be maintained and not just maintained, in a number of cases will be taken forward in a shorter time.
All the proposals of India have received positive response from the Russian side, he said adding that he is fully satisfied with the discussions.
Earlier this morning, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar had discussions with his counterpart and Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin.
“I can say with confidence that the traditional friendship between India and Russia remains strong. Our mutual interests are solid and we look to future cooperation in the spirit of our special friendship,” Singh said.
Paying tributes to the “immense sacrifice of the Russian people for victory in the Second World War,” Singh thanked the people of Russia, specially the veterans, who contributed to the world’s common security.
The minister recalled that Indian soldiers also participated in the war effort in the millions and suffered immense casualties. “Many of them were part of the war efforts to provide assistance to the Soviet Army,” he recalled.
“Therefore, it is a great honour that an Indian military contingent will be marching in the Red Square tomorrow,” Singh said adding that it “is a sign of everlasting friendship between the armed forces of both our countries.”
Singh’s visit to Moscow is the first foreign visit from India of an official delegation after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Describing it as a sign of “special friendship” between India and Russia, the defence minister said, “Despite all the difficulties of the pandemic, our bilateral relations are keeping good contacts at the various levels.”
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin is to visit India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, later this year, Singh said adding that his government was looking forward to it.