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In major boost to air defence, Russia begins S-400 delivery to India

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New Delhi, Nov 15: India's air defence got a major boost with Russia starting the delivery of the much awaited S-400 missile system for deployment. India has purchased the system for over 5 billion USD. The deal had become contentious amidst a threat of sanctions from the United States on countries doing business with Russia.

In major boost to air defence, Russia begins S-400 delivery to India

"Russia has started delivering the S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems to India, the deliveries are going as planned," Russian news agency Sputnik had reported.

"The supplies of the S-400 air defence system to India have started and are proceeding on schedule," Dmitry Shugaev, director of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, told Sputnik.

However an official word from the Indian side is awaited on the issue. The delivery was expected by the end of the year, but the same began through sea and air routes, reports said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit India next month during which he would hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The one day visit is scheduled for December 6.

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During his visit the two leaders are expected to sign a number of agreements. During his previous visit in 2018, the contract for the S400 air defence systems were signed. They are expected to reach India by the end of this year.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, this would be Putin's second foreign visit, the first one being in Geneva for a summit level meeting with US President, Joe Biden. He had joined the G20 Summit in Italy virtually.

India has an annual summit level mechanism with India and Japan. Till date 20 annual summit level meetings have taken place alternatively with Russia and Japan. Russia is India's largest defence partner and this sector forms the main pillar of the relationship between the two countries.

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