Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh visited the Russian Federation from November 5 to 7, 2019 and co-chaired the 19th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-M&MTC). He held extensive discussions with Defence Minister of Russian Federation General Sergei Shoigu on matters of military-to-military cooperation and defence industrial cooperation. The Russian Defence Minister assured robust Russian participation in DefExpo 2020 and readiness to operationalise the joint venture lndo-Russia Rifles Private Limited for the manufacture of Kalashnikov AK 203 rifles in India at the earliest. The ministers also held discussion on a range of international issues of common concern. The Russian side reaffirmed its strong support to India in countering terrorism and stated that Russia has always accorded priority to Indian security interests in the region. The Russian Defence Minister requested Shri Rajnath Singh for participation of an Indian Military Contingent in Army Parade on the occasion of 75th Anniversary of the victory in the Second World War. Russian President Mr Vladimir Putin has already extended an invitation to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to attend the celebrations. Raksha Mantri also inaugurated, the ‘India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference’ along with Russian Minister of Industry and Trade. The two sides discussed ways to promote defence industrial cooperation, technology transfer and investment in India in defence industry under the ‘Make in India’ programme. They agreed to constitute specific working groups for after-sales support of key defence platforms. Raksha Mantri was accompanied by a high-level delegation, comprising senior officials of MoD and FICCI.
RAKSHA MANTRI VISITS UZBEKISTAN
Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh visited Uzbekistan this week to attend the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and participated in bilateral engagements with the Uzbekistan government. He also held bilateral meeting with the Minister of Defence of Uzbekistan and discussed issues of bilateral defence cooperation. During the SCO meeting, the RM urged the SCO to work together in defeating challenges like terrorism, climate change, endemic poverty, under development, pandemics and inequality, and called upon them to strengthen and implement existing international laws and mechanisms to combat terrorism and its enablers. Listing out various initiatives taken by the Indian government in ease of doing business, he exhorted the partner countries to invest and do business in India. During his meeting with the Defence Minister of Uzbekistan, three MoUs were signed to enhance cooperation in Military Medicine and Military Education. The two sides agreed to continue to work together to further raise their level of engagement in the defence sphere. The ministers also witnessed the ‘Curtain Raiser’ of first-ever India-Uzbekistan Joint Exercise ‘Dustlik 2019’ aimed at sharing of best practices and experiences between the Armed Forces of the two countries. This was the first visit by an Indian Defence Minister to Uzbekistan in about 15 years.