India to manufacture AK-47 assualt rifles; Russia’ Putin welcomes India-Russia joint venture as ‘another symbole of partnership’

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has welcomed the launch of the India-Russia joint venture on Sunday, which will lead to the production of world-famous Kalashnikov assault rifles in India, further outlining the plant will become another symbol of friendship and constructive partnership between these two countries.

According to ANI news reports, Putin has said, “The new joint venture will manufacture world-famous Kalashnikov assault rifles of the newest 200 series and eventually will reach full localization of production. Thus, the Indian defence-industrial sector will have the opportunity to fulfil the needs of national security agencies in this category of small arms, resting upon advanced Russian technologies.”

Also, Putin highlighted that the pact regarding the project with India was reached during the premier’s visit to New Delhi last year in October. He noted the respective intergovernmental agreement was prepared and signed in the shortest possible time,

He said, “In this regard, I would like to express gratitude to Russian and Indian specialists, to all those who so promptly made this project happen.”

Putin said he has been convinced that commissioning of the new assault rifle “will contribute to stronger defence potential of India, to further advance of the scientific and industrial basis” of the national economy, will be instrumental in terms of creating new jobs for a qualified workforce, and will provide an impetus to professional education and personal training”.

He added, “The plant itself will become another symbol of friendship and constructive cooperation between our two countries.”

In the end, Putin also highlighted that military partnership has traditionally been the main area of the “special” strategic cooperation with India. He said, “Military and technical cooperation has traditionally been one of the key areas of special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India.”

He said so far now, around 170 military and industrial facilities have been settled up in India “with assistance from our country”.

While addressing a rally on Sunday in Amethi, Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi made all efforts for this deal. He talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin about it. We are going to make the world-famous AK-47 assault rifles here.”

In the inauguration ceremony of the plant, Modi along with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and union minister Smriti Irani were present.

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