Def Secy on 4-day visit to Moscow; discussion on military ties

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New Delhi, Jun 14: India and Russia will discuss a range of issues over their military ties during Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar's visit to Moscow, which comes after New Delhi expressed "disappointment" over the Russian Navy backing out from a joint exercise at the last minute.

During his four-day visit starting today, Kumar will hold talks with his Russian counterparts and discuss various issues including the last-minute decision by Russian Navy to not hold an exercise with Indian Navy ships, which had gone there for a joint drill, officials said here.

Early this month, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma had expressed "element of disappointment" after the exercises were not held at the final stages.

The future of the Army to Army exercise, which was planned to be held this year, will also be discussed between the two sides, they said.

The delivery schedule of the Akula Class Nerpa nuclear submarines and the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov are also expected to come up for discussion, they added.

Under a confidential pact, India is leasing an Akula Class submarine from Russia, which is expected to be delivered by the end of this year.

The two sides will also review the progress in work on the Gorshkov, which is undergoing retrofitting at a Russian shipyard and is expected to join the Indian fleet by 2013.

India and Russia had arrived on the final price of the ship after a series of long negotiations.

The two sides will also discuss the joint development projects undertaken by them including the fifth generation fighter aircraft and the multirole transport aircraft programmes.


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