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UPDATED: 09:58, November 16, 2005
Russia-India military ties help maintain global stability, says defense chief
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Russia-India military cooperation contributes to maintaining global stability, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Tuesday.

Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation "is one of the key factors in maintaining peace and stability not only in South Asia but also in the world as a whole," Ivanov said at the start of a session of the two countries' intergovernmental commission for military-technical cooperation in Moscow.

Russia is No. 1 supplier of arms to India, with about 40 percent of its arms exports going to the South Asian nation. India says its weapons contracts with Russia have totaled 9 billion US dollars in value.

In a separate meeting with Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukerji, Ivanov said similar stances on contemporary threats foster the development of military cooperation between the two countries.

"The important thing is Russian and Indian stances on contemporary threats and challenges are similar. This is the reason behind the joint military maneuvers in October on Indian territory," Ivanov said.

"The issue of terrorism is very acute today, and many states face the threat. Unfortunately, Russia and India are among these states," he said.

Ivanov said earlier that India has voiced its intention to buy Tunguska rocket systems and Smerch salvo systems and wanted its T- 72 tanks modernized.

Source: Xinhua

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