Vladimir Putin expresses hope that AK-203 rifles will help India's defence sector, fulfill security agencies' need for small arms

Putin said he is convinced that commissioning of Kalashnikov rifles will contribute to stronger defence potential of India and to further advance the scientific and industrial basis of the national economy.

Press Trust of India March 03, 2019 20:37:11 IST
Vladimir Putin expresses hope that AK-203 rifles will help India's defence sector, fulfill security agencies' need for small arms
  • Sitharaman read out Putin's message during a public rally of Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi

  • He said military and technical cooperation has been the key areas of strategic partnership between Russia and India

  • It was during his official visit to India in October, 2018, that Putin and Modi reached an agreement on producing Kalashnikov rifles in India

Amethi: The new joint venture between India and Russia to manufacture the Kalashnikov assault rifles' 200 series will be able to fulfill Indian security agencies' requirement for small arms, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a message read out by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Amethi on Sunday.

Sitharaman read out the message during an event of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi where he laid the foundation stone of a manufacturing unit for the AK-203 assault rifles.

Vladimir Putin expresses hope that AK203 rifles will help Indias defence sector fulfill security agencies need for small arms

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin. PTI

"The new joint venture will manufacture world famous Kalashnikov assault rifles of the newest 200 series and eventually will reach full localisation of production. Thus, the Indian defence-industrial sector will have the opportunity to fulfill the needs of national security agencies in this category of small arms, resting upon advanced Russian technologies," Putin said in his message.

He said military and technical cooperation has traditionally been one of the key areas of the special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India.

"For more than seven decades, we have been supplying reliable and high-quality armaments and equipment to Indian friends. Around 170 military and industrial facilities have been set up in India with assistance from our country," Putin said.

It was during his official visit to India in October, 2018, that Putin and Modi reached an agreement on producing Kalashnikov rifles in India.

The inter-governmental agreement was prepared and signed in the shortest possible time. "In this regard, I would like to express gratitude to Russian and Indian specialists, to all those who so promptly made this project happen," the Russian president said.

Putin said he is convinced that commissioning of the new enterprise will contribute to stronger defence potential of India and to further advance the scientific and industrial basis of the national economy.

"It will be instrumental in terms of creating new jobs for a qualified work force and will provide an impetus to professional education and personnel training," he said.

"The plant itself will become another symbol of friendship and constructive cooperation between our two countries," he said in his message read out by the defence minister.

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