New Delhi, June 24 After strategic business talks, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar attended the Victory Day parade at the Red Square in Moscow on Wednesday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War.
"I am proud that a tri-service contingent of the Indian armed forces is also participating in this parade," said Rajnath Singh, who is on a three-day trip to Russia.
His visit to Moscow is very significant as India's relationship with China has deteriorated over border issues in eastern Ladakh, where 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash with the Chinese People's Liberation Army in Galwan Valley on June 15. The Chinese side too suffered casualties, though the actual figures are not know yet.
On Tuesday, Singh said that the India-Russia bilateral relationship is a special and privileged strategic partnership, the future of which remains strong.
Singh is in Moscow on the invitation of the Russian Ministry of Defence to attend the Victory Day parade to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the victory of the allies over Nazi Germany.
India-Russia relations, the minister said, are one of the "special and privileged strategic partnerships". "Our defence relationship is one of its important pillars," he added.
Singh reviewed India's defence relationship in a meeting with Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov. The discussions, Singh said, were very positive and productive. He said Russia had assured him that the ongoing defence contracts will be maintained and not just maintained, in a number of cases they will be taken forward in a shorter time.
All the proposals of India have received positive response from the Russian side, he said, adding that he was fully satisfied with the discussions.
"I can say with confidence that the traditional friendship between India and Russia remains strong. Our mutual interests are solid and we look to future cooperation in the spirit of our special friendship," Singh said.
Paying tributes to the "immense sacrifice of the Russian people for victory in the Second World War," Singh thanked the people of Russia, especially the veterans, who contributed to the world's security.
The minister recalled that the Indian soldiers also participated in the war and suffered immense casualties. "Many of them were part of the war efforts to provide assistance to the Soviet Army," he said.
Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar had discussions with his counterpart and Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin.
( With inputs from IANS )