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India, Russia to conclude deals on frigates, Kalashnikovs soon: Russian envoy

India Today logo India Today 11-10-2018 Geeta Mohan

After the huge S-400 defence deal, India and Russia will soon be inking more deals on frigates and Kalashnikovs, said a very confident Russian envoy to India on Thursday.

© Reuters

Speaking to a group of select journalists on the recently held annual bilateral summit, Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev said that there might be a little bit of waiting involved but eventually India will buy more defence equipment and arms from Russia.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev said that India will buy more defence equipment and arms from Russia. © Geeta Mohan Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev said that India will buy more defence equipment and arms from Russia.

Speaking on the whether if CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) would impact the deals, Kudashev said that it will not be an "impediment".

Appreciating India's stand he said that the fact that India said it only recognises UN sanctions shows the country's "independence" and "integrity".

His remarks come just a day after US President Donald Trump said India would soon "find out" if the punitive CAATSA sanctions apply to it over its USD 5 billion deal with Russia to purchase the S-400 Triumf air defence system.

Inviting America's ire is why many thought that signing of the S-400 deal was underplayed with no mention during the press statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the subject buried in the 45th paragraph of the Joint Statement, to which Kudashev said that it was not due to fear of the Americans and their sanctions.

© Getty

Although he did confirm that the two sides discussed how to "secure" the bilateral trade and economic relationship from "unpredictable" factors like sanctions.

Russia is confident that the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), while not topping the priority, is still on the agenda.

© Getty

Russia is also keen to take the strategic relationship to another level with security pacts like the ones India has signed with US, LEMOA (Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement) and COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement).

The one area where Russia maintained a careful distance was on intervening in the matter of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects that violate India's territorial integrity and on its own growing proximity to Pakistan.

While refusing to meddle in India-China diplomatic issues, Kudashev said that Moscow's relationship with Islamabad should not be a cause of concern for New Delhi.

"Our engagement with Pakistan continues because we feel that some efforts should be made to bring Pakistan to the region and convince them to invest in common interest and common good. No sensible person in Russia wants strategic relations with Pakistan," Kudashev said.

In pics: Most powerful military nations of 2018

Also watch: Big-ticket defence deals lined up for PM Modi-Putin meet

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