Rajnath Singh points to ‘unprovoked aggression in northern border’ at 2+2 meeting with Russia

Insight Online News

New Delhi, Dec 6 : India and Russia on Monday held their inaugural 2+2 dialogue with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stressing that the Covid-19 pandemic and the “extraordinary materialization and expansion of armament in our neighbourhood and the unprovoked aggression on our northern border since early summer of 2020 have thrown in several challenges”.

In his opening remarks at the inaugural 2+2 dialogue, Singh said during the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation, held in the morning with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu, he had an “opportunity to discuss in detail with General Shoigu the emerging challenges that India is confronted with and the enhanced requirement for India for closer military-and -military technical cooperation with Russia.”

He termed the holding of the first 2+2 meeting between the Russia and India defence and foreign ministers as “a historic day” in the bilateral relations.

In remarks targeting China and its military build-up in eastern Ladakh, he said: “The pandemic and the extraordinary materialization and expansion of armament in our neighbourhood and the unprovoked aggression on our northern border since early summer of 2020 have thrown in several challenges. India is confident of overcoming these challenges with its strong political will and the inherent capability of its people.”

“Recognizing that its developing needs are colossal and that its defence challenges are legitimate, real and immediate, India seeks partners who are sensitive and responsive to India’s expectations and requirements,” he added.

He said he was happy to note that despite all challenges, India-Russia defence engagements “progressed in an unprecedented manner in recent times”.

“We hope that Russia will remain a major partner for India in these challenging circumstances,” he said.

He said at the Military Technical Cooperation meeting they have stressed on greater military technical collaboration, advanced research, co-development and co-production of defence equipment leading to self reliance of India.

“Separately we proposed greater engagements in Central Asia and the Indian Ocean Region.

“India is a continuation of the vast Eurasian landmass and at the same time central in the enormous Indian Ocean region. We are optimistic about Russia’s cooperation in all the domains,” he added.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in his remarks, said the two sides are meeting “at a critical juncture in the global geopolitical environment which is in great flux, especially in the aftermath of the Covid 19 pandemic.”

“As close friends and strategic partners India and Russia have been working together to safeguard our common interests and to ensure peace, progress and prosperity for our peoples.”

He said that India-Russia ties “have been close and time- tested in a world that has changed so much, they have been exceptionally steady.”

“We have had an active dialogue at political levels and also a strong defence partnership for many years. Our meeting gives us a suitable platform to discuss politico-military issues of mutual interest that are inter related and cross cutting.

“Our discussions today will address the emergence of multipolarity and rebalancing, we look too at the consequences of overcentralized globalization,” the EAM added.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has raised questions about the current model of global affairs, but the long standing challenges remain even as new ones emerge; prominent among them are terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation, the situation in Afghanistan has wider repercussions, including for Central Asia; West Asia or the Middle East continues to present hot spots; maritime security and safety is another domain of shared concern. We both have a common interest in ASEAN’s centrality and Asean-driven platforms,” he added.


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