Defence Minister Antony meets Sergei Ivanov

November 14th, 2007 - 2:30 am ICT by admin  
According to sources, the two leaders might have discussed the defence projects, including the delay in the upgradation of aircraft carrier ‘Admiral Gorshkov’ at their meeting on Thursday evening.

Ivanov who looks after the military-industrial complex in the government is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin.

Antony will leave for home on Friday, a day after India and Russia agreed to produce and co-develop the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA).

The agreement was reached at the 7th India-Russia Inter -Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation talks in Moscow, which was co-chaired by Antony and his Russian counterpart Serdyukov Anatoly.

The negotiations on the joint manufacturing and development of the new generation fighter aircraft have been going on for the last five years, and the present agreement inked is similar to the successful joint project of developing Brahmos supersonic cruise missile.

“It’s a major landmark, and I hope very soon we will be able to set the Inter- Governmental Agreement on co -development and co- production of multi role transport aircraft also,” Antony said.

The defence ties between India and Russia are termed ‘time-tested’ and close to 70 percent of India’s inventory are directly or indirectly related to Russia.

Moscow is keen on retaining the Indian market in the face of growing competition from the U.S., French and Israeli armaments majors.

Antony’s trip has set the stage for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Moscow in November for his annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. By Sanjay Kumar (ANI)

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