India, Russia discuss piracy threat, Admiral Gorshkov

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New Delhi, Jan 17 (PTI) India and Russia todaydiscussed ways to increase cooperation in tackling the growingthreat of piracy in the Indian Ocean region and the issue oftraining navy personnel for operating aircraft carrier AdmiralGorshkov.

The deliberations in this regard were held betweenIndian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma and his Russiancounterpart Admiral Vladimir Sergeevich Vysotskiy, who arrivedhere today on a three-day visit to the country.

"Whilst discussing the maritime environment, specificemphasis was laid on the growing threat of piracy in theIndian Ocean Region (IOR) and various possibilities for thetwo navies to co-operate," Navy officials said here.

Discussions on ongoing projects included "detaileddeliberations on the training of Indian Naval personnel forthe operation of aircraft carrier rechristened as INSVikramaditya, scheduled to commence later this year," theysaid.

India has placed orders for the 44,500 tonne AdmiralGosshkov aircraft carrier in 2004 but the delivery schedule ofthe warship was delayed due to frequent price revision by theRussian side.

After the issue related to the purchase was settledlast year, the warship is now expected to join the Indian Navyby the end of next year.

The two Admirals also held discussions on issues ofcommon interest ranging from the maritime environment in theIndian Ocean Region and operational philosophies of the twonavies.

They also discussed the ways of enhancingpossibilities for regularising Navy-to-Navy interactions with''staff talks'' and the feasibility of enhancing the scope ofthe INDRA exercises between the Indian and the Russiannavies.

During his visit, Vysotskiy will also visit theMumbai-based Western Naval Command and go on-board INSShivalik, the indigenously built stealth frigate.

The two countries share deep historical militaryrelations which have transformed into a strategic partnershipwith joint developmental projects such as BrahMos and FifthGeneration Fighter Aircraft being cases in point.

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