Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday (June 22) left for a three-day visit to Moscow, Russia, and during his visit Singh will hold talks on ways to further deepen the India-Russia defence and strategic partnership. The Union minister will also attend the 75th Victory Day Parade in Moscow.
Rajnath Singh is scheduled to meet Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu during his stay in Moscow and it is expected that he would raise the issue of the delivery of the S-400 missile defence systems during his discussions with the Russian leaders.
Leaving for Moscow on a three day visit. The visit to Russia will give me an opportunity to hold talks on ways to further deepen the India-Russia defence and strategic partnership. I shall also be attending the 75th Victory Day Parade in Moscow.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) June 22, 2020
It is to be noted that India was supposed to get the S-400 missile defense system by December 2021 but its delivery is being delayed due to coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the visit, the Defence Minister will take up the issue of urgent supply of equipment and spares needed for the Russian-origin fighter aircraft including the Su-30MKIs and MiG-29s of the Air Force and the MiG29Ks of the Indian Navy, the T-90 battle ranks for the Army and the Kilo-class submarines of the Navy along with other warships,” government sources told ANI.
Rajnath Singh will also ask Russia to supply the spares needed for Indian fighter jets, tanks and submarine to be dispatched by air rather than by ship to reduce the time taken for the transfer of these materials.
Russia is India’s largest defence supplier and in the last couple of years, the two countries have signed several defence deals, including the USD 5.2 billion deal for S-400 missile defence systems.
BrahMos Missile System as well as the licensed production in India of SU-30 aircraft and T-90 tanks, are also the examples of flagship cooperation between the two countries.
An agreement on the cooperation in the production of spare parts for Russian/Soviet military equipment was signed by the two countries during the 20th Annual Bilateral Summit in Vladivostok in September 2019.