Despite United States warning, India is keen on manufacturing high-tech weapons with Russia under PM Modi’s Make-in-India initiative, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a meeting with his counterpart S Jaishankar stated on Tuesday.
The top ministers from the two countries had a conversation on a wide range of issues associated with Afghanistan, space, defense, partnership in nuclear, manufacturing, economic, and vaccine cooperation. They also conceded building a free trade zone between India and the Eurasian Economic Union to strengthen bilateral relations.
Sergey Lavrov stated in a joint press conference that both sides talked about military cooperation, including the manufacturing of Russian weapons in India under the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” and “Make in India” initiatives. In this strategically significant area, Russia is a primary international contractor for India. Lavrov added that both nations have also conceded to join hands in tackling a decline in mutual trade because of the pandemic.
A coordinated effort on the coronavirus vaccines was also discussed, and Lavrov notified that the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has marked agreements with a few Indian companies to make around 750 million doses of the Sputnik V immunization.
He didn’t rule out further collaboration to cover the making of Indian vaccines in Russia, while Jaishankar stated that the regulatory authorities of both nations will be deciding on the matter. As far as we might be concerned, if those vaccines to be manufactured in India, it would be one more assertion of the significance of ‘Make in India’ and on our own vaccine capabilities,” Jaishankar added.
In January, the United States had cautioned India it is probably not going to get a waiver on its outlined procurement of Russian S-400 missiles, increasing the risk of sanctions like those forced on Turkey for purchasing the same, officials aware of the issue told India Today News.
Moreover, the Trump administration has been advising India to drop the $5.5 billion agreement for five missiles and circumvent a geopolitical crisis, stating that New Delhi didn’t have a wide waiver from a 2017 US law pointed toward preventing nations from purchasing Russian military equipment.
However, India states that it requires long-range surface-to-air missiles to be equipped to counter the increasing threat from China. India and China relations are at their lowest point lately due to the contention on the Himalayan border since last April.