Discussed defence cooperation, weapons manufacturing in India: Russia's Lavrov

April 6, 2021

Russia and India are discussing the possibility of "additional" production of Russian military equipment in India, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a news conference on Tuesday while on a visit to New Delhi.

"We discussed prospective and additional manufacturing of Russian military equipment in India within the concept 'Made in India'. So here, I didn't see any changes from our Indian partners and friends," Lavrov said after talks with Jaishankar.

In 2018, India agreed a deal with Russia to buy S-400 surface-to-air missile systems despite warnings of sanctions from the United States.

"We are satisfied by outcome of talks," said Lavrov .

After the talks, Jaishankar said that, "Discussed about our rapidly expanding energy cooperation; exchanged views on regional, global matters."

At opening remarks during delegation-level talks with Lavrov said: "Our countries are tied through a strategic partnership and at the heart of our partnership is the long-lived friendship between our nations and proximity of our stance on relevant international issues and our friendship."

"Our bilateral, political dialogue is at its sustainable highest even amid the stringent epidemiological restrictions," he added.

Lavrov, who arrived in New Delhi on Monday evening on a nearly 19-hour visit, has held extensive talks with the country’s top leadership with a focus on various aspects of bilateral ties and preparations for the annual India-Russia summit.

The India and Russia annual summit was postponed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both the countries have a mechanism under which India's prime minister and the Russian president hold a summit meeting annually to review the entire gamut of ties.

So far 20 annual summit meetings have taken place alternatively in India and Russia.

Russia has been a time-tested partner for India and the country has been a key pillar of New Delhi's foreign policy.