India-Russia expected to seal S-400 Triumf deal in October; Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit bolsters ties

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Published: April 5, 2018 3:54:22 PM

Experts believe that the S-400 Triumf, which is a medium and long-range anti-aircraft weapon system, helps in protecting our borders with India and China. The multifunctional S-400 Triumf can destroy aerial threats at an approximate range of 40 to 400 km at the altitude of up to 3000 meters.

sitharaman sergei moscow military conference Defence Minister NIrmala Sitharaman met H E Army General Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Defence, Russia in Moscow. Sitharaman discussed military technical cooperation and bilateral projects with her counterpart. Source: MOD Twitter

India and Russia are expected to finally seal the deal for procuring S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft weapon system in October. The deal will be finalised when Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Russian President Vladimir Putin during the latter’s visit to India for the bilateral annual summit, reports HT. India at first had shown the desire of buying 12 missile systems, but has now decided that it will buy only 5 S-400 Triumf missile systems. The cost of the deal is estimated to be Rs 39,000 crore. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is in Russia and the deal is likely to feature prominently in her talks with the Russian counterpart.

Experts believe that the S-400 Triumf, which is a medium and long-range anti-aircraft weapon system, helps in protecting our borders with India and China. The multifunctional S-400 Triumf can destroy aerial threats at an approximate range of 40 to 400 km at the altitude of up to 3000 meters. India is likely to deploy the 3 S-400 missile systems near the Pakistan border and 2 near the Chinese border in the East. However. China already boasts of having the S-400 Triumf procured from Russia. Both Russia and China have not disclosed the number of missile systems that China has procured.

Nirmala Sitharaman also addressed the 7th Moscow Conference on International Security yesterday in Russia. She hailed Russia as a long-standing friend with whom India shares a special bond. Seeking greater co-operation between Russia and the West, Sitharaman said, “A key facet of the prevailing international situation is the continued and raising unpredictability in relations between major powers. This is both unprecedented and a matter of great concern.” The current deterioration of relations between Russia and the West is the reflection of this trend, she added.

After calling for greater cooperation between Russia and the West, she said that India sought Russia’s active participation in combating terrorism and regional menace that it faces today. She made it clear that India had a strict ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards terrorism. She termed the growing maritime dispute in Indian Ocean Region and South China sea as a complex issue. She asked for the inclusive participation of all international players and called for a peaceful resolution through diplomatic talks.

Sitharaman met the Russian Defence Minister General Sergei Shoygu and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin in Moscow. She and Sergei Shoygu discussed defence cooperation between India and Russia, particularly with a focus on military-technical cooperation. They also discussed issues of bilateral importance, military to military cooperation and other regional issues in a delegation level talks.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Defence here said that the Defence Minister Sitharaman and her counterpart Sergi Shoygu reviewed a roadmap of military cooperation, which involves joint exercises, training, exchange of visits, and India’s participation in International Army Games that is to be held in Russia this year. The current visit by Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to give an impetus to several defence deals that have been pending between the India and Russia. Apart from the discussion on the deal for the procurement of S-400 Triumf, Sitharaman is also likely to take up deals for the procurement of MiG-29, KA-226T and Mi-17 V5 copters and also few frigates for the navy.

Sitharaman also met Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov yesterday. They discussed the ongoing military-technical cooperation projects that India and Russia are part of. Nirmala Sitharaman also spoke about the measures to promote Russia’s participation in defence production under the ambitious “Make in India” initiative. She also welcomed Russia and its private players to participate actively in the upcoming DefExpo 2018, that is to be held in Chennai from 11th April to 14th April. On the sidelines of the Moscow Conference, Nirmala Sitharaman also met General Ngo Xuan Lich, Defence Minister of Vietnam and also interacted with Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin.

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