Payment mechanism for India-Russia defence deal a non-issue, says top Russian defence body
As per the deal, India will be getting Russian S400 by April 2023.
Moscow: Russia has said payment issues regarding defence deal between the two countries is not an issue and the Rupee-Ruble mechanism is working with the system adapting to newer reality.
"Very successfully. I would say its a non issue. It is no more an issue. There were initial difficulties due to banking restrictions.. but then we took to G2G level and we use a different currency." Victor N Kladov, director of International Cooperation and regional policy of Russian state corporation or Rostec said.
Rostec is an umbrella organisation for all defence companies of Russia.
India and Russia had last year announced the S400 deal and, given the American sanctions on the latter, payment was an issue.
It may be noted that India will be getting Russian S400 by April 2023.
Lauding India for standing against the US on S400 deal, Kladov while speaking at MAKS Air Show near Moscow said, "India is a powerful big country, speaks equally to America..and when it comes to S400 Indian govt has explained to the American counterpart that it is required for national defence."
India can face American sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) law but so far Washington hasn't announced any.
Dismissing concerns of Russian and American missile "talking to each other" given Victor N Kladov, said, "India can make an interface.. a command...but secrets are well protected...secrets are inside technology and they also inside agreements.. whereby Indian end-user is obliged to keep secrets". New Delhi is negotiating short-range theatre defence from US.
Major push will be given for the signing of Kamov Ka-226 or Ka 226 T- Russian utility helicopter contract during PM Modi's visit to Vladivostok next week for the eastern economic forum.
"Yes we are hopeful this meeting between President Putin and Prime Minister Modi will bring new development in K 226 T Project..major push will be made definitely," Kladov said.
Regarding the K 226T all technical and commercial talks are already finished but the contract has not been signed.
He said, "There is no delay, we are expecting final okay from the ministry of defence of India. Everything is ready".
Many parts of Ka 226 T helicopters will be produced domestically in India, giving a boost to India's make in India defence initiative. Major partner is HAL, and in the supply chain, more Indian companies will be present. First, 60 helicopters will be assembled in Russia, next 140 will be assembled in India.
Asked if Russia has offered its fifth-generation fighter aircraft Su 57, he said, "we have never ever cancelled the agreement with Indian govt. 5th generation project has been delayed by the Indian side, not by the Russian side because Indian airforce has its own strategy of development so, for the time being, we don't have talks."
India and Russia had planned to develop it but New Delhi backed out due to the huge cost.