Coming together against terrorism, India and Russia on Wednesday said the menace cannot be defeated with ‘double standards’ and there is a need for ‘zero tolerance’ and collective efforts to combat terrorism. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar held a detailed meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu here during which the issue of terrorism was also discussed. Parrikar also made it clear that Russia is India’s time tested and closest partner and it will continue to remain primary defence partner.
“One of the key security challenges faced by India is that of cross-border terrorism. We appreciate Russia’s consistent and unwavering support for India in our efforts to eliminate this menace, which is a manifestation of the continued presence of terrorist groups in India’s neighbourhood,” Parrikar said as he co-chaired the Indo-Russian Inter Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation meeting.
He noted that Russia has also been actively engaged in efforts to eliminate terrorists in West Asia.
“We both recognize that the menace of terrorism cannot be defeated with double standards. There is a need for zero tolerance and collective efforts to combat terrorism,” he said.
On his part, Shoigu said at times there is unacceptable “double or even, at times, triple standards” in fight against terrorism.
“What is absolutely unacceptable in terms of the fight against terrorism is the use of the double or even, at times, triple standards…. The serious consolidation of all reasonable powers is necessary to fight this 21st century’s evil,” he said.
Shoigu also alluded to the problem of distinguishing between terrorists and moderate opposition, which hindered the collaboration between Russia and the United States in Syria.
Both leaders are also understood to have discussed deeper military cooperations, especially focusing on joint production of fifth generation fighter aircraft, upgradation of Su-30 MKI planes and firming up the contract for the Triumf air defence system.
“Russia is India’s time tested and closest partner and it will continue to remain our primary defence partner,” Parrikar said.
He said that while military technical cooperation is progressing well, he feels that the traditional military-to-military cooperation needs more focus.
“The pace and depth of our exchanges at the level of Chiefs, training of personnel in each other’s institutions, joint military exercises between all armed forces should be enhanced.
“We could mutually work out the modalities of increasing the military-to-military cooperation and draw up a roadmap for implementation,” he said.