India denies Chinese media claim that Rajnath may meet his counterpart in Moscow

Rajnath had a meeting with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov in Moscow today.

New Delhi (NVI): India has rejected the claims made by China’s state-run Global Times regarding a meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Russia at the Victory Day Parade in Moscow tomorrow.

Sources in the Defence Ministry tonight said that there is no such meeting between Singh and the Chinese defence minister in Moscow, even as the Global Times claimed that the two leaders may hold talks over resolving border tensions.

Tensions are running high between India and China after a deadly clash between the troops of both the countries at Galwan Valley in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in the close combat with the Chinese troops in the region along the Galwan river on June 15.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is currently on a three-day visit to Russia. He has been invited to attend a grand military parade in Moscow to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Germany in World War II and hold talks with the top Russian military officials.

During a press interaction in Moscow today, Rajnath said that his visit to the Russian capital is the first foreign visit from India of an official delegation after the COVID pandemic, and “is a sign of our special friendship.”

“Despite all the difficulties of the pandemic, our bilateral relations are keeping good contacts at the various levels,” he said, adding that India looks forward to the visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, later this year.

The Defence Minister further stated that India-Russia relations are “one of Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership”.

“Our defence relationship is one of its important pillars. I had an opportunity to review our defence relationship with Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov and I thank him for the honour for visiting me in this hotel, despite the restrictions of the pandemic. My discussions were very positive and productive.”

“I have been assured that ongoing contracts will be maintained and not just maintained, in a number of cases will be taken forward in a shorter time. All our proposals have received positive response from the Russian side. I am fully satisfied with my discussions,” he added.

Earlier this morning, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar had discussions with his counterpart Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin.

Rajnath said that he is confident that the traditional friendship between India and Russia remains strong. “Our mutual interests are solid and we look to future cooperation in the spirit of our special friendship,” he said.

Pertinent to mention here that a tri-service 75-member Indian military contingent will also participate in the grand Victory Day parade in the Red Square tomorrow. The Indian team will participate in the parade alongside armed forces personnel from at least 11 countries, including China.

“Indian soldiers participated in the war effort in the millions and suffered immense causalities. Many of them were part of the war efforts to provide assistance to the Soviet Army. Therefore, it is a great honor that an Indian Military contingent will be marching in the Red Square tomorrow. This is a sign of everlasting friendship between the armed forces of both our countries,” Rajnath said at the press interaction.

-ARK