The Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Ministry of Defence (MoD) paid a 3 days visit to Moscow, Russia from September 3-5, 2020 to attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) defence ministers and to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu on further boosting bilateral defence cooperation.
- It was his second visit to Moscow since June, 2020. He had represented India at the Victory Day Parade in Moscow on June 24 that commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War. Click Here to Read
Following is the detailed overview of his visit:
Rajnath holds talks with Russian counterpart; AK-47 203 rifles deal finalized between both nations
On September 3, 2020 Rajnath Singh had a meeting with his Russian counterpart Gen. Sergey Shoigu during which he appreciated the support provided by Russia in response to India’s defence and security needs. Both nations also finalised a major deal for manufacturing AK-47 203. The AK-47 203 is the latest and most advanced version of the AK-47 rifle, which will replace the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) 5.56×45 mm assault rifle. Both nations also finalised a major deal for manufacturing AK-47 203 rifles in India.
- The Indian Army has a requirement for around 770,000 AK-47 203 rifles, of which 100,000 will be imported and the rest will be manufactured in India as a part of the joint venture Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), established between the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), the Kalashnikov Concern and Rosoboronexport, the Russian state agency for military exports.
- The OFB would own a majority stake of 50.5% in IRRPL while the Kalashnikov Group would have a 42% share. Russia’s state-owned export agency, Rosoboronexport, would own the remaining 7.5%.
- The 7.62×39 mm Russian weapon will be produced at the Korwa Ordnance Factory in Uttar Pradesh, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019.
- The cost of per rifle is expected to be around USD 1,100, including the cost of technology transfer and of setting up the manufacturing unit.
Rajnath visits Russian armed forces’ main cathedral in Moscow
On September 4, 2020, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the main cathedral (Church), opened on June 20,2020, of the Russian armed forces and the museum complex in Moscow ahead of a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
- The cathedral’s six golden domes are dedicated to the patron saints of each branch of the Russian armed forces. The museum at the church complex features exhibitions about the history of Russia’s armed forces and the Great Patriotic War.
- He also planted a sapling during his visit to the Garden of Peace at the complex of Main Cathedral.
Rajnath Singh addressed Combined Meeting of Defence Ministers of SCO, CSTO & CIS Member States in Moscow
After visiting the cathedral, on September 4, 2020, Rajnath Singh addressed the Combined Meeting of Defence Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Member States in Moscow.
Key Points with respect to India:
-India is happy with the work of SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) to prevent the spread of radicalism and extremism.
-India will continue to support the efforts of the people and Government of Afghanistan for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled inclusive peace process.
-India’s is committed towards global security architecture which will be open, transparent, inclusive, rules-based and anchored in international laws.
-Raksha Mantri thanked Russian Federation for organising the annual anti-terror exercise ‘Peace Mission’ in the Kemerovo region of Russia.
The SCO comprises eight member states — India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
Secretariat– Beijing, China
Secretary-General– Vladimir Imamovich Norov
Rajnath Singh met his Chinese counterpart in Moscow amid border tension in Ladakh
During the SCO meet, Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh met his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe to discuss military standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in early May, 2020. Both nations agreed to peacefully “de-escalate” the situation.
Rajnath Singh’s meeting with counterparts from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan
Raksha Mantri also held talks with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Defence, Major General Kurbanov Bakhodir Nizamovich, Defence Minister of Kazakhstan, Lieutenant General Nurlan Yermekbayev, and Defence Minister of Tajikistan, Colonel-General Sherali Mirzo in Moscow to give a further momentum to defence cooperation in these regions.
Rajnath Singh left for Iran to meet with Iranian counterpart
On September 5, 2020, Rajnath Singh left for Iran to meet his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Amir Hatami in Tehran, the capital of Iran, to discuss bilateral ties, and regional security issues. He was the first top Indian official to visit Iran since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Recent Related News:
On July 9, 2020, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated six strategic bridges in the border areas close to the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) through video conferencing, from New Delhi. These were built in a record time by the Project Sampark of Border Road Organisation (BRO). The total outlay of the following bridges is Rs 43 crore:
- Tarnah-I Bridge (160m)
- Tarnah-II Bridge (300m)
- Palwan Bridge (91m)
- Ghodawala Bridge (151m)
- Pahadiwala Bridge (61m)
- Panyali Bridge (31m)
Currency– Iranian rial
President– Hassan Rouhani
Currency– Russian Rouble
President– Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin