Indo-Russian Relations
Daily coverage of what makes ties between Delhi & Moscow ever-lasting — even in times of western sanctions.

New Delhi Wants Moscow to Contribute to Boosting ‘Make in India’ Defence Sector

© AP Photo / Aijaz RahiIndian Air Force's Sukhoi Su-30MKI takes off during the inauguration of the Aero India 2023 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru, India, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.
Indian Air Force's Sukhoi Su-30MKI takes off during the inauguration of the Aero India 2023 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru, India, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 28.04.2023
India's defence chief has held bilateral meetings with all his SCO counterparts on the sidelines of the summit in New Delhi.
India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu discussed ways on Friday to provide “further impetus” to Moscow’s participation in the ‘Make in India’ policy, per a statement from the Indian defence ministry.
Both ministers also discussed a wide-range of issues on bilateral defence cooperation, including military-to-military ties and industrial partnership, according to the official statement.

It said that the two sides “expressed satisfaction” over the “continued trust and mutual respect” between the two nations, particularly in the defence sector.

Both of the top defence officials have vowed to work towards further strengthening their partnership.
SCO Defence Ministers' meet in New Delhi on 28 April 2023 - Sputnik India, 1920, 28.04.2023
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Further, the talks between the two defence chiefs also focussed on “regional peace and security”.
“They acknowledged the unique, long-lasting and time-tested relationship between India and Russia,” the Indian statement underlined.
Shoigu is in New Delhi to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) summit of Defence Ministers, which took place on Friday. He held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from other SCO states, including one with Chinese Defence Minister General Li Shangfu.

Indian-Russian Defence Ties

Russia has continued to hold its position as the top supplier of weapons to New Delhi, having supplied around 45% of India’s overall imports between 2017 and 2022, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Around 70 to 85% of India's military platforms are of Russian-made, per the US-based Stimson Center.
All three Indian services deploy Russian systems and arms: the Indian Army uses Russian-made tanks and rifles, while the Air Force uses Sukhoi fighter jets and MiG choppers. The Indian Air Force (IAF) also operates three batteries of the state-of-the-art S-400 missile systems.
This September 21, 2017 photo shows a container being loaded onto a ship at the Vizag Terminal, operated by Essar Ports, India’s second largest private port operator in Vishakhapatnam. - Sputnik India, 1920, 27.04.2023
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In recent years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has focussed on reducing reliance on foreign defence imports and has encouraged domestic manufacturing of arms and systems.
Several Russian companies have entered into joint ventures with their Indian counterparts under the ‘Make in India’ policy, most notable of them being the joint production of AK-203 rifles in Amethi (Uttar Pradesh) as well as the manufacturing of the Brahmos missile systems.
While the defence partnership has been one of the strongest pillars of India-Russia partnership for decades, the two countries have pledged to diversify their trade basket in recent months. Negotiations on a trade pact between India and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) are ongoing.
Bilateral trade topped an all-time high of $44 billion in 2022-23, largely driven by Russian crude exports to India. In recent months, Moscow has overtaken India’s traditional crude suppliers to become the biggest source of oil for the world’s fifth-biggest economy.
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