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India inks deal with Russia for procurement of AK-203 assault rifles

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

India and Russia on Monday inked agreements for the procurement of AK-203 assault rifles and protocols on amending cooperation in the field of Kalashnikov series small arms manufacturing. Defence minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart General Sergey Shoigu signed a contract for procurement of over six lakh AK-203 assault rifles through Indo-Russia Rifles Pvt Ltd and an agreement on military-technical cooperation from 2021-2031.

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Another agreement for protocol on amending agreement on cooperation in the field of Kalashnikov series small arms manufacturing was also signed.

Singh expressed hope that the agreements will bring peace and stability to the entire region.

“India deeply appreciates Russia’s strong support for India. We hope that our cooperation will bring peace, prosperity and stability to the entire region,” the defence minister wrote on Twitter.

“Glad that a number of Agreements/Contracts/Protocols were signed pertaining to small arms and military cooperation,” he added.

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Speaking at the inaugural 2+2 interministerial dialogue between India and Russia, Singh said that the defence engagements between the two countries have progressed in an unprecedented manner.

“We hope Russia will remain a major partner for India in these challenging circumstances,” he added.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar said the 2+2 interministerial dialogue will address the emergence of “multipolarity and rebalancing”. terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation as prominent challenges facing the region. The minister also mentioned the wider repercussions of the ongoing situation in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover and stressed that maritime security and safety is another area of shared concern.

“We both have common interest in ASEAN centrality and ASEAN-driven platforms,” he added.

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