Antony arrives in Russia; cementing defence ties on agenda | world | Hindustan Times
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Antony arrives in Russia; cementing defence ties on agenda

world Updated: Oct 13, 2009 13:08 IST

Defence Minister A K Antony arrived in Moscow today for a crucial meeting of a key joint defence commission as the two countries are poised to finalise new co-ventures in strategic weapons, including investment and technical parameters of 5th generation fighters.

During the three-day visit, Antony would hold one-to-one meetings with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov and take part in talks at the Indo-Russian Inter-governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC), the apex body for co-ordination of ongoing defence projects.

The visit comes as several key Indo-Russia defence projects including the delivery of aircraft carrier Gorshkov and nuclear Akula-II class submarine are delayed.

The Russians are playing down the delays and hiccups, saying that the situation has drastically changed over last two years and the projects have been put on fast track.

However, no new defence agreements are expected to be signed during the visit, except the classified protocol of the 9th session. But the two sides are expected to explore possibilities of new joint ventures in advances weapon systems.

Defence sources said that despite India's drive for diversification of military acquisitions, Russia has remained the source of its most sensitive defence technologies.