Despite US pressure against defence procurement from Moscow, India and Russia on Tuesday decided to enhance defence cooperation not only in procurement, but also explored the possibility of “additional” production of Russian military equipment in India.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was on a working visit to New Delhi where he held bilateral talks with his counterpart External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
“We discussed prospective and additional manufacturing of Russian military equipment in India within the concept ‘Make in India’. So here, I didn’t see any changes from our Indian partners and friends,” Lavrov said during the press interaction after talks with Jaishankar.
Asked about the US’s objections on procuring the Russian S400 missile defence system, Jaishankar said “specific” issues did not come up during the talks
However, Lavrov said, “We did not discuss these responses from the US, but we confirmed that we will deepen our military cooperation. We also discussed the prospects of manufacturing Russian military equipment under ‘Make in India’ scheme,” said Mr Lavrov.
Jaishankar directed the specific queries to departments in the Ministry of Defence. “We did not get into specific discussions. That is the responsibility of different bodies headed by defence ministers, which is due to meet end of this year,” he said.
On the QUAD cooperation becoming an alternative security structure, he called it the ‘Asian NATO’ and said that Russia was not for military alliance systems.