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|September 29, 1998||
Russia to ignore US pressure, continue arms supplies to India
Russia has reaffirmed its commitment to maintain defence supplies to India despite pressure from the United States to scale down the level of Indo-Russian defence collaboration, the Voice of Russia has said .
In its comment on the forthcoming visit of an Indian defence delegation to Moscow, the Voice of Russia radio network said the Kremlin will go ahead with an agreement regarding the supply of ten new Su-10 fighter planes, new generation of submarines and high-tech missiles to India, the US pressure not to do so notwithstanding. It disclosed Russia's willingness to assist India in the production of anti-missile weaponry.
The delegation, which arrives in Moscow next week, will include senior officers from all three wings of the Indian armed forces, the VoR disclosed .
This is the first time that Russia has confessed to being pressurised by the US to reduce the level of Indo-US defence cooperation. Earlier, Russia had denied that US President Bill Clinton had raised the issue during the US-Russia summit in Moscow in early September.
While referring to the various anti-India measures adopted by the US in the post-Pokhran era, such as suspension of credit and the refusal to provide high technology to India, VoR said US pressure on Russia to scale down its defence co-operation with India was actually aimed at pushing out Russia from the Asian arms markets so that the American weapon manufacturers could fill the vacuum .
''All US attempts in this regard are futile and Moscow will continue vigorously to co-operate with India in the defence field as in the other fields for the mutual benefit of both countries,'' VoR quoted Kremlin sources as saying.
VoR said the drafts of the agreement regarding defence supplies to India, which were prepared during another Indian defence delegation's visit to Moscow in the summer, will be given final touches during the Indo-Russian talks next week .
The final draft of the agreement for Indo-Russian defence collaboration is expected to be signed by Russian President Boris Yeltsin during his visit to New Delhi in the first week of December, VoR said. The agreement will cover the period till 2010, it said.
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