Moscow: India and Russia have signed a protocol highlighting various aspects of ongoing bilateral defence cooperation projects at the conclusion of the ninth session of the Inter-governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC). At the two day meeting both sides reiterated their commitment to extend the ongoing programme of military technical cooperation for a further ten years - from 2011 to 2020.
Indian defence minister AK Antony and his Russian counterpart AE Serdyukov expressed the hope that the inter-governmental agreement in this regard would be signed during the visit of Indian prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh to Moscow in December for a summit meet with Russian president Dimitry Medvedev.
|The Defence Minister, Shri A. K. Antony laying wreath at the Unknown Soldier's Memorial, at Alexenresky Garden, in Moscow|
At the IRIGC-MTC meet Antony and Serdyukov discussed a wide range of issues, including upgrade of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov.
In his opening remarks at the commencement of the two-day meet, Antony described Russia as a time tested and dependable friend of India. He emphasized that the Indian Government was determined to strengthen the bond in all areas of bilateral relations.
Antony noted that over the years defence relations between India and Russia have evolved from a simple buyer-seller relationship to a broad-based partnership where both countries are involved in joint design, development and production of defence equipment.
Taking note of the structured mechanisms for defence interactions, Antony said that Russia is the only country with which India has such a well established multi-tiered mechanism which has contributed to the strengthening of bilateral ties.