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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar discussed the outlook for military-technical cooperation between Russia and India.

India and Russia signed Protocol on Consultations for the period 2024-28. (Photo: S Jaishankar/X)
India and Russia signed Protocol on Consultations for the period 2024-28. (Photo: S Jaishankar/X)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday said that Moscow is ready to launch the production of modern weapons under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Lavrov said this while addressing a news conference after holding talks with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar here. Jaishankar is on a five-day visit to Russia.

He said they discussed the outlook for military-technical cooperation, including joint production of modern weapons, between Russia and India, the state-run news agency TASS reported.

“There is concrete progress on this track,” Lavrov said.

The diplomat said Russia understands and is ready to support New Delhi’s initiative, “producing military-purpose goods as part of the Make in India programme”. “We are ready to cooperate on this issue,” he said.

Russia has been the major supplier of defence equipment to India. However, after India and the US stepped up their bilateral ties, New Delhi has diversified its import of military equipment to include many American defence items.

Lavrov also said that the North-South transport corridor project will be implemented “in the near time”.

Russia, India and Iran signed an intergovernmental agreement on the creation of the North-South multimodal transport corridor in 2000. The number of participants expanded to 14 later.

The project goal is to bring transit freight traffic from India, Iran and Persian Gulf countries via the Russian territory to Europe. The project brings together several different transport systems of individual countries at present.

Lavrov said the project “caused great enthusiasm among countries, on which its implementation depends, and it will be definitely realised in the near time”.

The foreign minister said Russia and India have agreed on the “whole range of steps making possible for us to broaden cooperation, particularly in the context of the start of the North-South international transport corridor being prepared, creation of the Chennai-Vladivostok route and cooperation on Northern Sea Route development — this is a very promising line”.

In his opening remarks before the bilateral talks with Lavrov, Jaishankar said it was always good to be in Moscow.

“I agree with you that our relationship has been very strong, very steady, and I think we have lived up to the responsibilities of a special and privileged strategic partnership,” he said.

Jaishankar said that during his meeting with Lavrov, “we will focus on bilateral cooperation in different spheres, adjusting it to changing circumstances and demands”.

“We will discuss the international strategic situation, conflicts and tensions where they are. Also, focus on development challenges that the Global South faces. And of course, the state of multilateralism and the building of a multi-polar world order,” he said.

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