|By Vinay Shukla||February 2017|
Moscow. During his two-day Russia visit India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had parleys here with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev to boost bilateral defence and security cooperation.
According to identical press releases issued by the office of Secretary of Security Council of the Russian Federation and Indian Embassy in Moscow, Doval- Patrushev talks on January 30-31 were part of the regular high level consultations between India and Russia.
“The two sides discussed issues of mutual bilateral, regional and global interest, with a special focus on security and defence cooperation between both sides. They noted with satisfaction the ongoing cooperation between them in meeting threats to their national security, particularly those emanating from terrorism in their respective regions, and unequivocally reaffirmed their intention to continue to work together to confront these challenges,” Indian Embassy release said.
Doval’s Moscow talks are significant not only from the point of view of anti-terror combat in the region and on the backdrop of reports about Russia’s overtures with Islamabad and Taliban, but also in streamlining Indo-Russian defence cooperation.
During annual bilateral summit in Goa in October last Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed to setup two new bodies to coordinate defence interaction: Science & Technology Committee and Military-Industrial Conference.
Indo-Russian Science & Technology Committee co-chaired by the security czars of the two countries focuses on matters relating to R&D collaboration in such high-tech areas as IT, communication, cyber security, medical engineering, outer space cooperation, remote sensing and others, sources said.
The co-chairs directly report to their leaders to cut the Gordian knot of bureaucratic red tape in hi-tech defence cooperation.
The Doval-Patrushev talks in this context acquire special significance ahead of the first session of bilateral Military-Industrial Conference due in March. According to official sources here, Russia will offer its new MiG-35 variant for the Indian Air Force under the Make in India policy.
There have been reports about Moscow’s displeasure over HAL dragging feet on the agreement for the production of Kamov Ka-226T helicopters in India and this issue was expected to be raised at this meet.
Created by the leaders of the two countries at their October summit, the Indo-Russian Military industrial Conference will address military equipment related issues including spares, repair and maintenance of Russian supplied equipment and co-production. Private players too would be invited to participate under Make in India initiative, diplomatic sources here told India Strategic.