Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reached Moscow on June 22 on a three-day visit. He will attend a military parade in Moscow to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The Defence Minister will hold talks on ways to further deepen the India-Russia defence and strategic partnership. Rajnath Singh was received by Major General Kosenko Vasily Alexandrovich and the Indian Ambassador to Russia, D Bala Venkatesh Varma.
Government sources told ANI, “During the visit, the Defence Minister will take up the issue of urgent supply of equipment and spares needed for the Russian-origin fighter aircraft including the Su-30MKIs and MiG-29s of the Air Force and the MiG29Ks of the Indian Navy, the T-90 battle ranks for the Army and the Kilo-class submarines of the Navy along with other warships.”
Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe is also likely to be present at the Moscow military parade on June 24 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War.
A Chinese media report said Wei and Singh are attending the event in Moscow and they are likely to meet there over the border tension in eastern Ladakh. Defence Ministry Spokesperson Bharat Bhushan Babu said “Our Defence Minister would not be meeting the Chinese Defence Minister,” when he was asked about the Chinese media report.
Indian and Chinese troops are participating in the parade, along with contingents from other countries.
Singh will meet the Russian defence brass and is expected to review supplies of defence equipment in the coming months. During his discussions with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, he is likely to raise the issue of the delivery of the S-400 missile defence systems as well.
A tri-service 75-member Indian military contingent has already reached Moscow to participate in the parade. The Indian team will participate in the parade alongside armed forces personnel from at least 11 countries, including China.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, meanwhile, will be participating in a virtual meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China (RIC) Tuesday.
The meet was called to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the conclusion of the Second World War and the foundation of the United Nation. Recalling India’s contribution to the historic events, Jaishankar asserted, “The victory over Nazism and Fascism was achieved through sacrifices across many theatres by many countries. India made a significant contribution, with 2.3 million of its citizens under arms and 14 million more participating in war production…. When the victors met to fashion the ensuing global order, the political circumstances of that era did not give India due recognition. This historical injustice has stood uncorrected for the last 75 years, even as the world has changed. Therefore, on this momentous occasion, it is important for the world to realize both the contribution that India made and the need to rectify the past.”
Mr. Jaishankar’s speech dwelt upon the post-WWII order, which came into existence after the defeat of Nazi Germany. He said the world order that came to replace the previous one of the late 1940s was inherently flawed and denied India its due recognition. “We helped keep key supply lines open for both your countries, one through the Persian corridor and the other over the Himalayan Hump. If Indian personnel were conferred the Order of the Red Star, the medical mission led by Dr. Kotnis was a legend in China,” Dr. Jaishankar said, elaborating on the Indian role during the war.