AK-203 rifle deal with Russia makes progress

Discussions for a joint venture project in India are at an advanced stage

September 04, 2020 03:31 am | Updated 03:31 am IST - NEW DELHI

India and Russia have made progress towards concluding the deal to manufacture AK-203 assault rifles in India. The progress of the discussions, now at an advanced stage, for the establishment of a joint venture project in India was reviewed on Thursday by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart Gen. Sergey Shoigu, the Defence Ministry said.

Mr. Singh is in Moscow on a three-day visit for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) defence ministers’ meet and also the 75th anniversary event to commemorate Victory Day. Coinciding with the visit, Navies of India and Russia are set to hold an exercise, Indra 2020, off the Strait of Malacca on September 4 and 5.

“Defence Minister noted that these exercises demonstrated the common interests of both countries in maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region. There was substantial commonality in positions with respect to challenges at the regional and international levels in the areas of peace and security,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Mr. Singh also conveyed appreciation for the “timely manner in which the Russian had responded to requests for procurement of particular weapon systems,” the Ministry said.

Indian armed forces had embarked on emergency procurements amid the ongoing tensions with China on the disputed boundary.

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