Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has appreciated the steadfast support provided by Russia consistent with the defence and security needs of India. Mr Singh met his Russian counterpart General Sergey Shoigu in Moscow yesterday. The Defence Minister along with other senior officials are on a three-day visit to Russia. The meeting was held ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Defence Ministers' meet scheduled to be held at 2 PM today.

The Defence Minister thanked Russia for their timely response to the requests for procurement of particular weapon systems in the country. The meeting covered a broad range of areas of cooperation between the two countries where it was also noted that it coincides with the 'Indra Naval Exercises' scheduled to be conducted by the Indian and Russian Navies off the Straits of Malacca over the next two days.

The Defence Minister briefed his Russian counterpart on the 'Make in India' defence programme in the context of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'AtmaNirbhar Bharat'. Both sides welcomed the advance stage of discussions for setting up of an Indo-Russian Joint Venture for manufacturing AK-47 203 rifles in India. The joint venture will be reportedly established with majority stakes of the Ordnance Factory Board and the production of the rifles is slated to take place at the Korwa Ordnance factory in Uttar Pradesh. AK-47 203 assault rifles are considered to be one of the most modern weapons available for infantry forces.

They will, in addition to the SCO meet, also attend the gatherings of Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries and participate in the 75th Anniversary Event commemorating Victory Day of the Russian Federation. 

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