India, Russia to ink defence pacts

India, Russia to ink defence pacts

                                      Union Defence Minister AK Antony with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov during a meeting on India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on military technical co-operation in Moscow on Wednesday. PTI                                                        
The first agreement to be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s December visit will be on extending the military technical cooperation for ten years from 2011 to 2020. The second relates to after-sales product support for defence equipment of Russian origin.

The decks for signing the pacts were cleared on Thursday during the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation in Moscow attended by defence minister A K Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov. The two ministers signed a protocol extending military interaction between the two nations till 2020.

Balancing act

The protocol and the upcomng agreements indicate New Delhi’s balancing act between its recent closeness with Washington and years of trusted relationship with Moscow.
Describing Russia as a time-tested and dependable friend, Antony said defence relations between Russia and India evolved from a simple buyer-seller relationship to a broad-based partnership where both countries were involved in joint design, development and production of defence equipment.

The defence minister is on a three-day tour of Russia. On the contentious price negotiation of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, New Delhi and Moscow have agreed to find out “a mutually acceptable solution” at the earliest.

A Russian delegation will visit New Delhi in November to continue the price negotiation, sources told Deccan Herald. Both the governments are working hard to find out a breakthrough, which if found, may be the centrepiece of the prime minister’s Russia tour.

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