By Aarti Tikoo Singh
New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS): Russia on Friday said that five S-400 air defence systems will be delivered to India in 2025, as per schedule.
At a press briefing, Russian ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev and charge d'affaires, Roman Babushkin said that the production of the S-400 air defence systems had already begun.
"Five systems will be delivered in 2025," Babushkin said, adding that this year the Indian armed forces will receive the first batch of the 5000 Kalashnikov machine guns produced by Russia here in India.
Also, 60 helicopters Ka-2267 will be supplied and 140 produced in India after the contracts are signed. The deputy of the Russian mission in India said that the agreement on joint production of spare parts of military hardware will be implemented soon, as well.
In view of the success of Russian-Indian JV Brahmos, the two countries were further upgrading missile precision, range and speed, he said.
"It is a unique weapon, even many developed countries don't possess it. Demand is huge in third world countries. All options are on the table. In order to proceed we have to make sure that the international law is respected," Babushkin said.
"It will be a landmark year in our ties, we will focus on the implementation of the decisions made during Vladivostok summit last year, take forward new initiatives and further strengthen our perfect mutual understanding."
Russia, he said, is holding the largest defence expo exhibition this year and was "expecting new agreements" with India. In 2019, India-Russia contracts came close to $16 billion.
Ambassador Kudashev had earlier said that Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Serget Lavrov, who was on a visit here, held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
They discussed "topical issues of our strategic bilateral partnership" and situation in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East and new cooperation in new formats such as Russia-India-China (RIC). The meetings created brand new prospects for Russia-India relations this year", he said.
While criticizing the US for its foreign policy in the Middle East and hegemony, Ambassador Kudashev said that "relations between Russia and India serve as a good example of interstate cooperation in the 21st century".
Russia, he reiterated, has once again supported India's application for permanent membership in the Security Council.
Modi will visit Moscow on May 9 to participate in the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Russian victory in the Great Patriotic War.