SCO Defence Ministers’ meet: Rajnath holds bilateral talks with Russian counterpart

Published by News Desk April 29, 2023


New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday met his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu in the national capital on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers' meet.

The Ministry of Defence said that during the meeting, both the ministers discussed various matters related to regional peace and security.

Singh and Shoigu held wide-ranging discussions on several issues of bilateral cooperation, including defence and industrial partnerships. The two ministers also discussed the participation of Russia's defence industry in the 'Make in India' initiative, and ways to further accelerate it.

It has been learnt that both expressed satisfaction "at the continued trust and mutual respect between India and Russia, particularly in the defence sector, and reiterated their commitment towards strengthening mutual partnership".

Meanwhile, during the meeting, Shoigu slammed the US and groupings like Quad while showing inclination towards China. India is part of Quad, which also comprising Australia, Japan and the US.

The Russian Defence Minister said that "a front is being set up to stop China".

He said that tensions around the 'so-called' Taiwan issue have been deliberately raised.

Shoigu said "the supporters of Washington are pursuing their strategic agenda of provoking other countries for a military confrontation with other countries, especially Russia and China".

At the conclusion of the SCO meeting, SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming also met Rajnath Singh. Various activities undertaken by India under its chairmanship were discussed.

The Defence Minister told the Secretary-General that India is committed to contribute constructively to the implementation of the SCO's mandate.

Rajnath Singh also held bilateral talks with the Defence Ministers of Uzbekistan, Belarus and Kazakhstan on the sidelines of the SCO Defence Ministers' meeting.

He held bilateral meetings with the Minister of Defence of Uzbekistan, Lt Gen Bakhodir Kurbanov; Defence Minister of Belarus, Lt Gen Victor Khrenin; and Minister of Defence of Kyrgyzstan, Lt Gen Bekbolotov B. Asankalievich.

In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: "The entire gamut of defence cooperation with the three countries was reviewed during the meetings, with a focus on identifying beneficial avenues for furthering bilateral ties. Issues of mutual interest were also discussed."

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