No Meeting Between Rajnath, Chinese Counterpart 


New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will not have any bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of a grand parade in Moscow, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Currently, Singh is on a three-day visit to Moscow to attend the grand military parade on Wednesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Germany in the Second World War.

Chinese State Councilor and Defence Minister Wei Fenghe is also expected to attend the parade.

A Chinese media report said Wei and Singh are attending the event in Moscow and they are likely to meet there over the border tension in eastern Ladakh.

“Our Defence Minister would not be meeting the Chinese Defence Minister,” Defence Ministry Spokesperson Bharat Bhushan Babu said when asked about the Chinese media report.

The defence minister’s visit to Russia comes in the midst of an escalating border standoff between India and China, particularly after the killing of 20 Indian Army personnel by Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on June 15.

Officials said Singh went ahead with the visit, notwithstanding the border row with China, due to India’s decades-old military ties with Russia.

Russia has been one of India’s key suppliers of arms and ammunition.

A tri-service 75-member Indian military contingent has already reached Moscow to participate in the parade. The Indian team will participate in the parade alongside armed forces personnel from at least 11 countries including China.

“The visit of the defence minister will strengthen the longstanding special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia,” the defence ministry said on Saturday.

“The Indian participation in the victory day parade will be a mark of tribute to the great sacrifices made by Russia and other nations in the Second World War in which Indian soldiers also participated and made supreme sacrifice,” it said.

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