Russia opens porthole to Chennai

Strategic partnership:PM Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok on Wednesday.AP  

In a major breakthrough in Indo-Russian defence ties, India will start manufacturing spare parts and components for the Russian military equipment under transfer of technology and set up joint ventures, as the two strategic partners tried to transform their existing buyer-seller relationship into one of collaboration.

This was agreed during wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin here in the Far East Russian port city as they pledged to elevate the India-Russia partnership to new heights of cooperation.

Close cooperation between Russia and India in military and military-technical areas is a key pillar of bilateral and especially privileged strategic partnership, the two leaders said.

Briefing reporters on the Modi-Putin talks, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the agreement for manufacturing spare parts for the Russian military equipment was in tune with Prime Minister Modi’s wish to transform the defence relationship.

The two sides agreed to foster cooperation with the goal of keeping joint production in India of spare parts, components and other products on track.

This is aimed at ensuring the maintenance of the Russian-made armaments and military equipment under the Make in India programme by transferring technologies and setting up joint ventures, the official Tass news agency reported.

Invited to celebrations

Mr. Putin invited Mr. Modi to attend the celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War in Moscow in May 2020.

“We are expecting you in May next year at the celebrations devoted to marking the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, Victory over Nazism,” the Russian President told Mr. Modi during their talks.

India and Russia signed on a road map for cooperation in the hydrocarbons sector with Moscow agreeing to look at supplying coking coal from its Far East.