Russian FM arrives
in New Delhi ahead of
inaugural 2+2 dialogue

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NEW DELHI: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Sunday arrived in New Delhi ahead of the inaugural meeting of the 2 + 2 dialogue mechanism at the level of the foreign and defence ministers.
The agenda for the newly instituted format dialogue between India and Russia will cover “political and defence issues of mutual interest”. “The agenda for the dialogue will cover political and defence issues of mutual interest. The establishment of this new mechanism of two plus two dialogue is expected to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said last month.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin will also hold the 21st annual India-Russia summit.
It will be the first face-to-face meeting between Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after the meeting on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in November 2019.

NEW DELHI: Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, right, shakes hand with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu in New Delhi on Monday, December 6.

On Saturday, the Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev had said that he is expecting a “sizeable and formidable joint political statement” from the annual summit.
“Negotiating teams are working about outcomes of the Summit, work is on. But what’s clear for today is that one of the outcomes would be a sizeable and formidable joint political statement,” Russian Envoy said in an exclusive interview with ANI.
“It would be a very comprehensive paper, a comprehensive document covering all dimensions of our ties beginning with global issues and the UN revived commitment to itself to its central position in the modern world. Then would come regional issues, Afghanistan included,” he added.
The statement will also include issues like COVID-19 concerns, Afghanistan and other matters of bilateral importance. (ANI)

India, Russia to finalise AK-203 assault rifle deal

During the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India on Monday, the two countries would be inking the major deal worth over Rs 5,100 crore for producing AK-203 assault rifles within the country.

NEW DELHI: Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives at Air Force Station, Palam in New Delhi on Sunday. He will meet External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and take part in the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between India and Russia. (ANI Photo)

The Russian President during his one-day visit is also scheduled to hand over the model of an S-400 air defence system to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a symbol of delivery of the weapon system to India, sources told ANI here. The main attraction of the visit would be the finalisation of the AK-203 assault rifle deal which would be produced in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.
The production of the over five lakh rifles by the India-Russia joint venture company would see a complete transfer of technology within seven years of signing the contract.
The two sides were also discussing the conclusion of the Igla air defence system deal but that is not likely to be signed during this visit, sources said.
The deal had been agreed upon between the two sides a few years ago and now the last major issue would be resolving the issues on the transfer of technology, they said.
Of the 7.5 lakh rifles to be acquired by the Indian Army, the first 70,000 will include Russian-made components as the transfer of technology happens slowly.
These will be delivered to the army 32 months after the production process begins. (ANI)