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Highlights of defence minister Rajnath’s visit to Russia for 19th IRIGC-M&MTC in Moscow, Russia 

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The union Defence Minister shri Rajnath Singh co-chaired the 19th Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-M&MTC) in Moscow, Russia that was held from November 5-7,2019. From the Russian side, it was co-chaired by Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Shoigu. This is the first visit of Rajnath Singh to Russia as a defence minister.

Protocol signed: A Protocol was signed by the two ministers during the meeting. Both the nations on September 4, 2019 signed an agreement on Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) which defines a framework for mutual cooperation, for joint manufacturing of spares, components, and other materials related to Russian or Soviet Origin Arms and Defence Equipment. The agreement was signed during 20th India-Russia Annual Summit in Vladivostok, Russia
IRIGC-M&MTC in MoscowIndia-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference:
Shri Rajnath Singh jointly inaugurated the “India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference” held in Moscow, along with Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov on November 5, 2019.

i.After the inauguration, Shri Rajnath Singh addressed the Chief Executive Officers(CEO) of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from Russian Defence Industry.It was agreed that the forthcoming Tri­Service Indra Exercises will be a major milestone in Military Cooperation between the two countries.

ii.DefExpo: On Rajnath Singh’s invitation the Russian defence minister Sergey accepted to participate in the DefExpo 2020 (defence expo 2020) which is going to be held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from february 5-8, 2020. Russia also assured full support for india’s capabilities in the ‘Make in India’ initiative for defence equipment manufacturing.

iii.Indo-Russian joint venture: The Russian side also accepted its readiness to operationalize a joint venture(JV) of the Indo-Russia Rifles Private Ltd for manufacturing Kalashnikov AK 203 rifles in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.

iv.Military cooperation: Progress of the military and its technical cooperation was reviewed. The Russian govt also ensured its readiness to deepen exchanges between the military training institutions. Both the nations agreed to form a special working group in this regard. An officer would also be deputed for the National Defence College (NDC)course in New Delhi which would commence from 2020. Both sides agreed to intensify the cooperation programme for 2021-2030 period.

v.Army parade: As per Russian Defence minister’s request,an lndian Military Contingent would participate in the Army Parade in Russia on the 75th Anniversary of the victory in the 2nd World War(WWII)which was held from 1939 to 1945. In a significant move, the two nations’ ministers directed their respective teams in defence sector to work for the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Agreement on Reciprocal Logistics Support.

vi.Homage to Mahatma Gandhi:On his arrival in Russia, defence Minister Rajnath Singh made his first engagement in the country by paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi at the premises of Embassy of India in Moscow.