Defense Minister Ivanov Invites Indian Troops to Russia

Russia hopes to follow up recent joint military exercises in India with further joint exercises on Russian territory, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told his Indian counterpart during a meeting in Moscow.

“I sincerely hope that these exercises will be continued now on Russian territory,” Ivanov was quoted by France Presse as saying at a meeting with Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

For his part, Mukherjee praised recent cooperation on defense shipments to India, saying that Russia remained India’s number one source of arms.

Russian arms sales to India had totalled nearly $9 billion dollars, Mukherjee said, without specifying the period he had in mind.

Russia held the first joint anti-terror war games with India in the western desert state of Rajasthan last month, during which the two ministers escaped injury after a heavy mortar landed several meters from their platform.

Ivanov said on that occasion that the two countries planned to collaborate on building advanced fighter jets, warships and submarines, and to conclude a deal on military intellectual property rights by the end of the year, press reports said.