Vladimir Putin will be in India for the India-Russia summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File)
Days before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India next week, during which the possible signing of high-profile defence deals worth more than $ 8 billion is on the agenda, the country’s foreign minister denied any knowledge of the ongoing controversy over the Rafale deal in India.
Mr Putin will be in India for a two-day visit on October 4 and 5 for the annual India-Russia summit with a focus on boosting bilateral ties between the two countries.
But even as Russia could be gearing up to sign massive weapons deals India, Russia’s Foreign Minister denied any knowledge of the Rafale deal controversy in India.
Answering NDTV’s question on whether Russia would be more thorough in following rules for their defence deal with India after the Rafale row, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “We participated in the bid for that delivery (India’s proposal to buy warplanes) and we didn’t get it. I haven’t heard about this since”.
India began the process to buy a fleet of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) in 2007 after the Defence Ministry, headed then by Congress leader AK Antony, cleared the proposal from the Indian Air Force. The contenders for the mega deal were Lockheed Martin’s F-16s, Eurofighter Typhoon, Russia’s MiG-35, Sweden’s Gripen, Boeing’s F/A-18s and Dassault Aviation’s Rafale.
As for reports that the inter-governmental…