India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh plans on visiting Russia in early November to meet with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, while New Delhi is expected to receive Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in January, Indian Ambassador to Russia Shri D. Bala Venkatesh Varma told reporters on Wednesday.
“We expect [India’s] defense minister [Singh] to come to Moscow in early November,” the envoy said, adding that his meeting with Shoigu was “most definitely,” expected to take place.
Additionally, the envoy said that India expected Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to visit the country in early January 2020.
"We expect two big visits in the next two-three months. One is the visit of our Speaker of the Lok Sabha [Indian parliament’s lower house], he will be received by [Speaker of Russian parliament’s lower chamber Vyacheslav] Volodin towards the third week of November.
The 5th inter-parliamentary commission will also meet during that time," Varma noted.
Russia and India maintain continuous dialogues on a variety on levels in many different arrays. The leaders of the two countries regularly exchange visits and hold talks on the sidelines of international platforms. The India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation is a key mechanism of bilateral cooperation.
Defense cooperation between Moscow and New Delhi is especially active, with 80 percent and 70 percent of the Indian navy’s and air force’s equipment, respectively, currently being Russian-made. According to experts, Russia has supplied over $65 billion worth of military equipment to India since bilateral defense industry cooperation was launched in 1960.