Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh is on a three-day visit to Russia. He is expected to hold talks with top Russian military brass. He will also attend the ceremony in Moscow associated with the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Germany in the Second World War.
Before leaving for Moscow Singh tweeted: “Leaving for Moscow on a three day visit. The visit to Russia will give me an opportunity to hold talks on ways to further deepen the India-Russia defence and strategic partnership. I shall also be attending the 75th Victory Day Parade in Moscow.”
It is the first high-level visit by a senior union minister in four months as traveling abroad was restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The visit is important from a diplomacy point of view as it has come in the midst of an escalating standoff between India-China. On 15 June, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face-off between both counterparts in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.
India and Russia share historical bilateral ties. Defence Ministry said on Saturday “The visit of the defence minister will strengthen the longstanding special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia”.
In a message to Diplomacy & Beyond Plus on the occasion of the Russia Day, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to India, H.E. Nikolay R. Kudashev said “It is heartening to note that one of the first major international initiatives taken by Russia after the dissolution of the USSR was the signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with India on January 28, 1993. The year 2020 also marks the 20th anniversary of the strategic partnership between our countries and the 10th Anniversary of elevating it to the level of special and privileged strategic partnership, which is one of a kind, rich in substance and unique in terms of mutual respect, trust, and benefit! The fact that this time we celebrate our National Day 75 years after the defeat of the Nazi Germany in Great Patriotic War doubles the significance of the date”.