India and Russia reaffirmed their commitment to military-technical cooperation,with Moscow saying that discussions are underway to manufacture “additional” Russian military equipment in India under the Make in India initiative.
Following a meeting with the Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov laid the groundwork for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s summit meeting with President Vladimir Putin later this year and pointed out that the supposed attempts to cobble together NATO-like alliances in Asia are ineffective, and this topic was addressed during the
Lavrov didn’t mention the Quad directly, but he did say that India shared his views on military alliances. Lavrov’s visit coincided with the start of a three-day military exercise in the Bay of Bengal between the Quad and France. Lavrov’s comments on the plan to manufacture more equipment in India were in response to a query about the Biden administration’s threat of sanctions against
India if the Modi government went ahead with the procurement of Russia’s S 400 air defence system.
Though recognising the possibility of US sanctions threat against India and other countries interested in purchasing high-end arms from Russia, Lavrov said that this was not addressed during the conference.
S. Jaishankar discussed India’s interpretation of the Indo-Pacific, a term that Moscow refuses to accept, as well as the evolving situation in Afghanistan, withLavrov highlighting the “similarity of Russian and Indian approaches.”
According to S. Jaishankar, what happens in Afghanistan directly affects India’s security, and he expressed India’s view that securing long-term peace in Afghanistan would necessitate balancing the interests of all parties concerned, both inside and outside the region.
To allay Russia’s worries about the Indo-Pacific, S. Jaishankar claimed that India was committed to ASEAN centrality, which was underlined by the Indo- Pacific Oceans Initiative.