Agencies, New Delhi
India today strongly raised the issue of Russia deciding to supply arms to Pakistan during a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Sawarj and visiting Deputy prime Minister of the country Dmitry Rogozin.
India also invited Russian participation in its massive infrastructure building plan. The marathon four-hour long meeting saw a ‘’detailed and extensive’’ discussion on a wide range of bilateral issues, including nuclear energy, space trade, economy infrastructure, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin .
When asked whether the issue of Russia lifting embargo on arms sale to Pakistan was taken up by the External Affairs Minister, Mr Akbaruddin said ‘’all issues that impact our defence were taken up. Yes this issue was raised.’’ The meeting between the two leaders would be the first interaction between India and Russia after the new government assumed charge in New Delhi.
Mr Rogozin is also scheduled to meet the Defence Minister and NSA and is expected to call on the Prime Minister.
Russia was reportedly negotiating the sale of a number of Mi-35 attack helicopters to Islamabad,. However, state-owned technology corporation Rostec of Russia has maintained that no ban was ever imposed over Pakistan and it delivered 70 Mi-17 transport helicopters to the country between 1996 and 2010, Moscow said.
Two years ago, Mr Rogozin, who, also holds charge of the Defence industry, had strongly denied that his country could supply weapons to Pakistan in future.