Rajnath Singh and Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu discuss India-Russia defence ties

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu during the SCO Defence Ministers' meeting held on April 28th 2023 in New Delhi.

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh meets Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Shoigu

The Union Minister for Defence, Shri Rajnath Singh meeting with the Defence Minister of Russia, General Sergei Shoigu on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers, in New Delhi on April 28, 2023. The Chief of Defence Staff, General Anil Chauhan and the Defence Secretary, Shri Giridhar Aramane are also seen. Photo: PIB

India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met his Russian counterpart General Sergey Shoigu on Friday, April 28th, during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) Member Countries’ Defence Ministers’ meeting in New Delhi. Earlier, Singh met his Chinese counterpart General Li Shangfu on Thursday.

According to the Ministry of Defence, Singh and Shoigu discussed “wide-ranging issues of bilateral defence cooperation, including military-to-military ties as well as industrial partnership”.

Singh reportedly discussed with Shoigu the Russian defence industry’s participation in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative and how that can be enhanced.

The two ministers reportedly discussed matters of regional peace and security. They committed to strengthening India and Russia’s defence ties and praised the continued trust and respect between the two countries.

However, despite Singh’s cordial discussion with Shoigu, India’s defence ministry has been in deep trouble regarding its dealings with Russia, following the US-led West’s sanctions imposed on Moscow after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his special military operations in Ukraine.

An unverified report published by Mint claimed that Russian weapon supply to India may stall due to US sanctions as both parties have not been able to develop a fully-functional rupee-rouble trading option in the defence sector. This may affect the S-400 air defence missile systems and maintenance contracts for Indian Airforce.

Russia is the largest weapons supplier for India and both countries have strong defence ties since 1971.

Shoigu lambasted the West during the SCO’s defence ministers’ meeting. He claimed that the West’s sanctions are failing to isolate Russia from its traditional friends.

“Against the background of the special military operation, attempts to influence Russia’s partners in order to isolate it continue. A large-scale information campaign has been launched to compromise the Russian leadership and its policies. An uncompromising willingness to increase comprehensive pressure is being demonstrated without regard to the current damage to its economic and political interests”, Shoigu was quoted by the Russian news agency TASS.

“However”, Shoigu claimed, “all these attempts are failing”. Shoigu also praised the SCO for its work saying, “The independent course of the organisation in solving regional and global security problems is an example for the whole world”.


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