Manohar Parrikar hands a non-paper to Russian defence minister ‘to recapture dynamism of military ties’

Parrikar also raised the issue of joint Russia-Pakistan military exercises, which were held on Pakistani soil, immediately after the Uri terror attack which led to the death of 19 Indian soldiers.

Written by Sushant Singh | New Delhi | Published:October 28, 2016 7:40 am
New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu exchange protocol document after the 16th meeting of the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation in South Block, New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI Photo (PTI10_26_2016_000279B) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu exchange protocol document after the 16th meeting of the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation in South Block, New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI Photo

When defence minister Manohar Parrikar sat down with his Russian counterpart General Sergey Shoigu for the 16th meeting of the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation on Wednesday, it was with an aim to reassure the Russians of New Delhi’s political commitment to the bilateral relationship. To remove any misgivings that may have crept up in Moscow, Parrikar, in fact, explicitly stated in his opening remarks at the meeting that Russia “will continue to remain our primary defence partner”.

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“In the government, we felt that we need to try and recapture the dynamism of military-to-military interaction that was earlier between India and Russia,” top government sources told The Indian Express. To recapture the dynamism, according to sources, Parrikar handed over a non-paper to General Shoigu, which has proposals for institutionalising the interaction between the two countries. As a first step towards that, Parrikar proposed the expansion of Military-Technical commission to a Military and Military-Technical commission which was readily accepted by his Russian counterpart.

The non-paper proposes that India and Russia will increase the number of joint military exercises, increase their frequency and make them more complex. It also suggests more robust staff-level talks between Indian and Russian defence ministries, which will feed into institutionalised senior-level dialogues. These proposals are part of the changed thinking in the government circles that defence has to be the core driver of India-Russia relationship.

“The idea is to increase the surface level of interaction between India and Russia defence ministries. That is one important outcome of the meeting,” source added. While there is a scope for improvement but the two sides recognise that there has been good progress as India has committed to making big-ticket defence purchases from Russia. According to sources, Moscow knows that India’s relationship with the US is independent of the India-Russia relationship and it is not a zero-sum game.

Parrikar also raised the issue of joint Russia-Pakistan military exercises, which were held on Pakistani soil, immediately after the Uri terror attack which led to the death of 19 Indian soldiers. While the Indian side said that it had hurt the public sentiment in the country, the Russians were dismissive of the joint drill, calling it “minor and routine”.

The two sides also discussed the issue of spares for the defence equipment of Russian and Soviet origin, which forms two-thirds of the Indian inventory. Moscow needs a Presidential decree to amend the regulations whereby Indian companies can directly deal with Russian producers of components. A conference is also planned in New Delhi next month to explore the possibility of Indian private defence manufacturers to produce these components here in India.

The issue of maintenance of MiG-29K naval fighters, whose serviceability has been adversely commented upon by the CAG, was also raised by the Indian side. The Russians were asked to expedite the start of the contractually obligated maintenance facilities in India. The two sides also looked at expediting the joint production of Kamov helicopters, in accordance with the deal signed in Goa earlier this month. The Indian side also informed the Russians that they are still studying the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft proposal, which will need to be a part of the broader plan for the aerospace industry in India.

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  1. N
    nitin
    Oct 28, 2016 at 4:24 am
    This is not soviet russia . Don't confuse the tyrant putin and modern russian Oligarchs and imagine them to be trusted friends of India.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Putin is an old KGB COMMIE loon who suffers from a Napoleon complex . He has jailed his political opponents , made billions of dollars for himself and his Oligarchic cronies , and ruled his nation like a Tyrant for the last 16 years.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The Russian GDP is growing at 1.3 % , the Ruble has crashed by 60% in the last 3-4 years , and over 20 million russians live in poverty . There is a high level of income inequality and a large proportion of the Russian economy is controlled by the Russian Mafia.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The old commie loons of the Kremlin continue to suffer from Soviet era delusions of geur and harbor imperial ambitions , and their 1000 odd nuclear warheads allows these morons to blackmail the international community with threats of Nuclear WAR whilst meddling in the internal affairs of other countries . lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;They have invaded and usurped South Ossetia (Georgia) and Crimea (Ukraine) and now Putin is planning to invade the tiny Baltic States of - Estonia , Latvia and Lithuania.
    Reply
    1. K
      Kim Sharma
      Oct 28, 2016 at 7:51 am
      A clown (Parikkar) for the bluffmaster. What is Mahesh Sharma upto? It is a shame that he still boasts of a surgical strike that has failed to produce even short-term result, though political capital could be reaped. Daily attacks on border are no longer news. Shamelessly Modi govt boasts of surgical strikes when they were preceded and is followed by recurring attacks on the border. One surgical strike can fool a typical BJP supporter, a confirmed moron like most of their ministers and CMs. Modi is the weakest Indian PM ever, an unfit chowkidar of the nation. The Modi govt survives only because of Modi's charisma and ample majority of BJP in Lok Sabha. A weak leader with slender majority would have collapsed already when morons are a majority in the ministry. The overall performance of the govt is pathetic as it fails in execution, though as always the govt is good at exaggerating even non-events. A govt shouldn't be judged by the lack of major corruption scandals. How can an inert, inactive govt get soiled in corruption scandals so early? Manmohan was silent, but the UPA govt was good at execution. True, corruption scandals as well as Modi hype did it in. Modi govt should be judged by the promises and the dream it sold to voters. Isn't the recurring, daily attacks on the border enough prove that the Modi govt is the worst Indian govt ever? Even this failure could have been condoned if the govt had performed at a moderate level on the economic front, at least.
      Reply
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        Nalin K
        Oct 28, 2016 at 10:22 am
        Third rate journalist Sushant Singh has reproduced a Govt handout.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Why can't Indian Express have a defense correspondent like Pravin Swamy instead of this useless Sushant Singh
        Reply
        1. N
          Nitin ka
          Oct 28, 2016 at 4:37 am
          Cry louder clown , but still then Modi will not listen as he has understood whom India can trust.
          Reply
          1. X
            xyz
            Oct 28, 2016 at 4:14 am
            Russians are time trusted friend of India. They stood by our side in adverse time. It is well known fact that during the war of 1971, American sent their naval fleet in Bay of Bengal to stop Indian advances in East stan but it was Russia who came for the help of indian and stopped America from any further action by warning it with an appropriate action. It is true that there are some issues in our friendship but they should be resolved through understanding. We should not at any cost leave Russia who is there for help of India always.
            Reply
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