Russia must take 'positive steps' to ensure supplies: Antony

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Moscow, Oct 17 (UNI) India today told Russia in clear terms that defence cooperation between them would reach greater heights only if Moscow took some ''positive steps'' to address the issues of timely availability of lifecyle support of defence equipment and materials required for defence supplies.

Presenting India's defence agenda before the starting session of the seventh meeting of the India-Russia Inter Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation, Defence Minister A K Antony said the country will adopt a ''transparent'' way in defence purchases strictly adhering to the country's defence guidelines.

Voicing concern over the availability and maintainence related support system, the Defence Minister told his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov to immediately resolve issues pertaining to the timely delivery of Gorshkov, besides other key matters.

Mr Antony, on a four-day Russia visit, noted that India-Russia defence relationship was decades old and ''the development of Sukhoi and BrahMos missiles jointly by both countries will boost the future projects in the defence sector.

''Talks are also going on for development of fifth generation weapons which may take a final shape very soon,'' he added.

Calling for making ''credit agreement'' mandatory in defence deals, Mr Antony said, ''Russia always tried to evade the credit agreement citing its strict laws.'' He said both countries were committed to fighting terrorism.

Earlier in the day, Mr Antony had cleared that India's growing friendship with the US and other western countries will not be at the cost of old and strong ties with Moscow.

"Russia is a special and important friend for us. This visit is to further advance our 60-year-old relations," he declared.

UNI

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