A day after India imposed restriction on import of 101 defence items, Russia said it continues to be India’s most trusted partner in reaching the goal of self-reliance

Russian ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev on Monday said over the last 70 years, Moscow has remained India’s most trusted partner in reaching the goal of industrial and technological self-reliance.

“Closely following India’s efforts in achieving industrial and technological self-reliance. Over the last 70 years, Russia remains India’s most trusted partner in reaching this goal,” Russian ambassador, Kudashev said in his tweet.

The decision of Indian government to put embargo on import is aimed at boosting domestic defence manufacturing. In that background, the Russian ambassador’s comment assumes high significance as for more than seven decades, Russia has been a major defense partner of India.

According to the Moscow-based Indian embassy, India-Russia defence cooperation has evolved from a purely buyer-seller relationship to joint research, design development and production of state-of-the-art military platforms.

Bilateral projects between the two countries which are currently underway include indigenous production of T-90 tanks and Su-30MKI aircraft, supply of MiG-29-K aircraft and Kamov-31 and Mi-17 helicopters, upgrade of MiG-29 aircraft and supply of Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher Smerch.

The two countries are also engaged in joint design and development of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft and Multi-Role Transport Aircraft.

Recently the government also announced its decision to acquire 12 Su-30MKI and 21 MiG-29 fighter planes from Russia. The Indian armed forces are already using various versions of MiG and Sukhoi jets, besides a number of other military systems. The largest aircraft carrier in the Indian Navy INS Vikramaditya was also procured from Russia.

In June, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had visited Russia to attend a grand military parade in Moscow to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Germany in the World War-II.

The visit had taken place amidst India-China tension on the Line of Actual Control, particularly in Eastern Ladakh where scuffle between Indian and Chinese troops had led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number of Chinese troops.