India, Russia decide to expedite negotiations for defence deals
New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held extensive talks with her Russian counterpart General Sergey Shoygu and Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov in Moscow during which both sides decided to expedite negotiations for various military platforms soon.
Defence ministry officials said that during the talks, both sides also agreed to further ramp up bilateral defence cooperation.
Sitharaman is on a three-day visit to Russia to attend the VII Moscow Conference on International Security.
Russia has been one of India's key suppliers of arms and ammunition. However, it has been a long-standing grievance of the armed forces that supply of critical spares and equipment from Russia takes a long time affecting maintenance of military systems procured from that country.
India has been pressing Russia to adopt a liberal approach in sharing technology for components of major defence platforms as it was critical to keep them in operational readiness. Majority of India's weapon systems are of Russian origin.
The issue is understood to have figured during Sitharaman's talks with both General Shoygu and Manturov. Both sides agreed to expedite negotiations for various military platforms, the sources said.
The two countries are yet to finalise a nearly Rs 40,000-crore deal to procure S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems for the Indian armed forces mainly due to differences over price.
Thet are also yet to finalise a number of other deals.
India wants procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly when China has been ramping up its military manoeuvring along the nearly 4,000 km Sino-India border.
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