New Delhi: The Indian defense ministry has finalized a deal worth over ₹5,000 crores with Russia for the manufacture of 7.5 lakh AK 203 assault rifles for armed forces. This comes before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India next month. The Russian designed AK-203 will be manufactured in a unit in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh after the pact is inked during the visit of Putin.
Putin is expected in New Delhi on 5 December to hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The New Delhi talks would be the latest in the series of annual dialogues between India and Russia since 2000.
Indian sojourn is a rare outing of Russian President Putin since the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The two countries, seen as partners for decades, are also expected to sign agreements in the areas of technology and trade during Putin’s visit. One of the pacts expected to be signed is a logistics support pact – along the lines of agreements India has with Japan and the US.
Earlier this month, Dmitry Shugaev, the director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), was quoted as saying that Moscow has begun deliveries of the S-400 surface-to-air missile system.
India’s acquisition of S-400 from Russia may face sanctions by the United States under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act) a la China and Turkey but a few of the US senators have requested President Joe Biden to make an exception for India.