Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has reached Russia on Wednesday on a three-day visit amidst India-China tensions. He will attend the meeting of the Shanghai Organization for Cooperation (SCO) to be held in Russia.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh will meet today with his Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoyagu, during which he will also speak to the Russian Defense Minister about enhancing bilateral cooperation on defense.
Officials said a delegation of eight SCO member countries will discuss regional defense challenges on Friday. Issues like terrorism and radicalism will be addressed during this period. Rajnath Singh has been on his three-day visit to Russia’s capital Moscow on Thursday evening for the SCO conference. Major General B. U. Nikolaevich welcomed him to the airport.
After reaching Russia, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted that he arrived in Moscow this evening. He also wrote that I will have a bilateral meeting with Russian counterpart General Sergey Shoyugu tomorrow.
According to sources, in this meeting between the border dispute between India and China, Rajnath Singh would not speak to the Chinese leader. China’s defense minister will also feature in the meeting, although the prospect of a bilateral meeting between the two leaders has been ruled out.
Rajnath Singh is scheduled to meet with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, during which the two countries will have a significant discussion on possible security deals.
Despite the heavy military tension on the eastern Ladakh border with China, the Defense Minister’s arrival at the SCO meeting suggests that India is not yet completely discouraged by this Chinese-dominated organization. Yes, in the near future India’s attitude towards the SCO or BRICS will depend on which side the bilateral relationship with China leads.
India and Pakistan joined the SCO in the year 2017 itself as core members. Apart from China, India’s important strategic partners are Russia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan member countries. It will soon include another few countries like Iran, Sri Lanka.
India has always been supportive of the SCO believing it will help to build a multipolar world. It is also thinking more or less about becoming a member of China’s leading role of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). The Doklam dispute of 2017 was helped to resolve the meeting between PM Narendra Modi and President Xi Chinphing at the SCO summit.
Government sources say that so far nothing has been done on the agenda of SCO and BRICS which is called anti-India. Between the BRICS countries, a financial institution was established with India taking more loans from other countries. India was successful in adding an important provision on terrorism to the SCO Nation Heads of the Year 2018 meeting.