Defence

Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar to visit Russia days before the US-India 2+2 meeting

By Times Now

Days before the visit by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and the Secretary of Defence, Mark Esper, for the 2+2 meeting with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and defence minister Rajnath Singh, the Defence Secretary, Ajay Kumar, will visit Russia.

Ajay Kumar’s visit to Moscow begins on October 19. Sources said the visit is to sort out the minor irritants in various ongoing projects, the manufacture of the AK-203 assault rifles in India, for instance.

Also, India still uses a lot of Russian weapons, including fighter aircraft like the Sukhoi-30, the MiG-29 and transport planes like the Il-76, Kilo-class conventional and Akula class nuclear submarines and the T-72 and T-90 tanks and BMP infantry combat vehicles. In fact, about 60 per cent of the weapons the armed forces use are Russian. They require huge amounts of spares and the possibility of easy access to them and also, their manufacture in India may be discussed.

Russia and India also have a defence intergovernmental commission. And importantly, there is, despite Covid, the possibility of a visit by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to New Delhi later this year. The visit, initially planned for mid-September, has been delayed because of Covid related issues.

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