India, Russia chalk out plan to bolster strategic ties

India, Russia chalk out plan to bolster strategic ties

Strengthening of “special and privileged strategic partnership” between India and Russia formed the central theme of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s wide-ranging talks with the Russian leadership including Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin here on Tuesday.

The talks took place in the backdrop of warming up of ties between Pakistan and Russia which signed a defence agreement this year. Ending its self-imposed embargo on arms sales to India’s archrival, Moscow has agreed to sell four MI-35 attack helicopters to Pakistan.

Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin made light of the helicopter deal with Pakistan: “What is the big deal about our giving four helicopters to Pakistan? We are giving technology to India to make 200 helicopters. India will be a helicopter superpower.”

He was referring to a Rs 6,000-crore deal between a Russian company and Anil Ambani’s Reliance to manufacture 200 twin-engine Kamov 226T choppers for the Indian Army in India which is a boost to the “Make in India” programme.

Indian officials did not specifically confirm whether the Russia-Pakistan defence cooperation figured during Sushma’s talks with Rogozin or her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.Crackdown on hoarders nets 5,800 tonnes of pulses

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