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Russia, India mull joint weapons production — Lavrov

November 8, 2022

Moscow and New Delhi are seeking to boost trade ties. India is also one of the few countries not to have criticized Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

India's Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hold a joint press conference
Lavrov and Jaishankar have met five times this year.Image: Sergei Savostyanov/dpa/TASS/picture alliance

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he discussed the joint production of modern weapons with his Indian counterpart during talks in Moscow on Tuesday.

It was Lavrov's fifth meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar this year.

"We discussed in detail the state and prospects of military-technical cooperation, including joint production of modern arms," Lavrov said, in comments carried by the TASS news agency, without providing more information.

The two countries are seeking to expand their trade ties and cooperate more closely in the fields of nuclear energy and space travel, Lavrov said.

For decades, India has relied on Russia for its military equipment. Russia is also the fourth-biggest market for Indian pharmaceutical products.

A new Russia to India route

India hails relationship with Moscow

It was Jaishankar's first visit to Moscow since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. He was accompanied by senior officials from agriculture, petroleum and natural gas, ports and shipping, finance, chemicals and fertilizer, and trade.

"Russia has been a steady and time-tested partner. Any objective evaluation of our relationship over many decades would confirm that it has actually served both our countries very, very well," Jaishankar said.

India has close ties to both Moscow and the West and is one of the few countries not to have condemned Russia's war in Ukraine. New Delhi also does not support Western sanctions against Russia and instead favors dialogue as a way to resolve conflict.

India to keep buying Russian oil

Jaishankar also stressed that his country would continue buying oil from Russia. 

India has become Russia's largest oil customer after China as Western buyers seek to wean themselves off fuel from Moscow.

"As the third largest consumer of oil and gas and a country with not very high incomes, we have to look for affordable sources, so the India-Russia relationship is to our advantage," Jaishankar said.

Russia's share of India's oil imports has surged from around 2% before the invasion of Ukraine to an all-time high of 23% in September.

nm/aw (dpa, Interfax)