- The two countries' defense cooperation has also grown from a simple buyer-seller relationship to a more complete partnership that includes joint research
- India uses a lot of old Russian weapons and is also buying new ones, like the S-400 Triumf air defense systems, from Russia.
Pakistan’s defense minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, is likely to skip this week’s meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) defense ministers, which will be held in the capital of India.
But the Chinese defense minister, Gen. Li Shangfu, and his Russian colleague, Sergei Shoigu, will be there. Other SCO member countries, including the two ministers, will also be at the meeting on April 27 and 28.
India, Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan are all part of the SCO.
Sources in the defense and security sector the Pakistani defense minister is unlikely to attend in person, even though their foreign minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, will be at the Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Goa in early May.
Even though he got an official invitation like the other SCO ministers, the Pakistani defense minister could still join through video conferencing, the sources said.
India became the leader of the SCO at the Samarkand summit in Uzbekistan last year. Leading up to the summit in July, India is holding important ministerial meetings.
Talks with Chinese & Russian defence ministers
Gen Li is the first Chinese defense minister to visit India since fighting broke out at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between China and India in eastern Ladakh in March.
Last month, the Chinese foreign minister went to India for the G20 meeting and met with S. Jaishankar, who is in charge of India’s foreign policy.
The Chinese defense minister is a key figure in the Chinese military. He has been in charge of several important projects and is the first member of the Strategic Support Force (SSF) to join the country’s Central Military Commission, which is led by President Xi Jinping and is in charge of the People’s Liberation Army, the People’s Armed Police, and the Militia of China.
In 2015, the SSF was made as part of plans to change the way the military is run so that it can focus on space, cyber, political, and electronic warfare.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh will also meet with General Li. During this meeting, they will talk about the tense situation along the LAC.
Since the standoff began in May 2020, both armies have left the northern and southern banks of the Pangong Tso, Gogra, and the Hot Springs area. However, tensions still exist in Depsang Plains and Demchok.
When it comes to Depsang and Demchok, where emotions have been high for a long time, neither side has been able to make any progress. Also, even though troops have stopped fighting in several places along the LAC, they are still stationed in forward areas with their tanks and weapons.
India has asked for a “de-escalation,” which would mean that all of the extra troops and weapons in forward areas would go back to where they were before April 2020.
Singh will also talk with the Russian minister of defense, Shoigu. This will be his first trip to India since the war between Russia and Ukraine began a year ago.
But India and Russia have kept up high-profile visits and interactions, such as the recent visit of Russian deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov for the 24th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological, and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC).
The two countries’ defense cooperation has also grown from a simple buyer-seller relationship to a more complete partnership that includes joint research, development, production, and marketing of advanced defense technologies and systems.
Russia is still one of India’s most important defense partners. India uses a lot of old Russian weapons and is also buying new ones, like the S-400 Triumf air defense systems, from Russia.