Arun Jaitley to visit Russia: New defence protocol in the offing

Arun Jaitley to visit Russia: New defence protocol in the offing
India and Russia are likely to sign on a new protocol to take the bilateral defence cooperation forward during Defence Minister Arun Jaitley's upcoming visit to Moscow. Jaitley on Wednesday will leave for Russia where he would participate in the biennial defence dialogue besides attending a meeting for cooperation in high technologies at Novosibirsk.
 
He would also talk about the emerging Indian defence-industrial complex at Technoprom, a major annual science, technology and innovation exhibition. At the 17th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation in Moscow on June 23, the defence minister may take up resurrection of stalled projects like Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft and leasing of a second nuclear-powered submarine with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu, defence ministry sources said.
 
Progress is also expected in the supply of the S-400 Triumf anti-ballistic missile system, which India decided to purchase from Russia at an estimated cost of about Rs 35,000 crore to secure Indian skies from incoming enemy missiles. Jaitley will land in Novosibirsk on June 21 where he would meet the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin. The two leaders would then attend a meeting on the science and technology cooperation that will discuss the supply of dual-use technology.
 
At the delegation-level talks between India and Russia, the two sides would not only discuss the future roadmap but would make an effort to resolve outstanding issues like the FGFA project, on which India already spent close to Rs 1,500 crore. The meeting will review the entire range of military and military-technical cooperation between India and Russia within the framework of the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries, the defence ministry said in a statement.
 
Notwithstanding some of the recent advances made in the USA in the last decade, Russia remains India's most trusted strategic partner.
 
According to a February 2017 report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Russia is India's biggest arms supplier (68.29% import) followed by the USA (14.15%) and Israel (7.19%). India remained the world’s biggest arms importer over the past five years, and increased its share of global arms imports from 9.7% in 2007–11 to 12.8% in 2012–16.
 
The Indian delegation would include defence secretary Sanjay Mitra; defence production secretary Ashok Kumar Gupta; DRDO chief S Christopher; Deputy Chief of the Army Lt Gen S K Patiyal, Deputy Chief of the Navy, Vice Admiral G S Pabby and Deputy Chief of the Air Force Air Marshal R Nambiar.


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