Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held separate talks with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on Saturday, discussing wide-ranging talks with a focus on further boosting the bilateral defence, security and trade ties.
Official sources said various aspects of the defence relationship between the two countries were discussed threadbare during the delegation-level talks with an aim to enhance the cooperation further.
Sitharaman apprised Rogozin about various policy initiatives taken by the government to encourage the domestic defence industry and added that Russian companies can take advantage of the reform measures and share defence technologies for manufacturing of military equipment and platforms.
In a major step towards defence indigenisation, the Indian government had in May unveiled a “strategic partnership” model under which select private firms would be engaged along with foreign entities to build military platforms such as fighter jets, submarines and battle tanks.
Russia has been one of major suppliers of arms and ammunition to India.
In the meeting today, both sides also reviewed status of ongoing negotiations for the supply of a number of military platforms by Russia to India.
Rogozin arrived in New Delhi today on a day-long visit.
Prior to meeting Sitharaman, Rogozin called held talks with Sushma Swaraj with two undertaking a comprehensive review of economic cooperation in key areas, including energy, trade and investment.
The meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) emphasised on deepening the special and privileged strategic partnership.
“External affairs minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Rogozin undertook a comprehensive review of economic cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, transport, energy, agriculture, industry and space under IRIGC-EC (framework),” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
(With inputs from PTI)