Rajnath Singh in Russia for SCO meet, no plan to meet China, Pak ministers: Officials
Union defence minister Rajnath Singh is on a three-day visit to Russia to take part in the meeting of defence ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
Singh was received by Major General Bukhteev Yury Nikolaevich at the airport on Wednesday.
He is in Moscow till September 5 to attend the combined meeting of defence ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member States in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of victory in the World War II, the government said in a statement.
The SCO comprises eight member states -- India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The aim of the SCO, of which India became a part in 2017, is to maintain peace, stability and security of the region.
The defence ministers of all eight SCO member nations are expected to deliberate on regional security challenges like terrorism and extremism and ways to deal with them collectively, officials said.
In his second visit to Moscow since June, Rajnath Singh is also likely to hold crucial talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu on further boosting bilateral defence cooperation.
“I shall also be meeting Russia’s Defence Minister, General Shoigu to discuss bilateral cooperation and issues of mutual interest. India and Russia are privileged Strategic Partners. Looking forward to further this partnership during my visit,” the defence minister had said in a tweet before heading to Russia.
Chinese defence minister Gen Wei Fenghe and Pakistan’s Pervez Khattak are also expected to attend the SCO meeting. Asked about the possibility of a bilateral meeting between Singh and Wei on the sidelines of the SCO event, officials said there is no such plan, according to PTI.
Earlier on June 24, Singh had represented India at the Victory Day Parade in Moscow on June 24 that commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War.
(With agency inputs)