Russia keen to associate with Indian Army: Gen Rawat

New Delhi: The Russian Army is “very keen” on associating with the Indian Army, said Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday while stressing on the independence of Indian policymaking.

“Russians are very keen on associating with the Indian Army because we are a very capable Army. We are capable of standing for what is right for us,” General Rawat said at the inaugural General KV Krishna Rao Memorial Lecture at Manekshaw Centre.

“When Russians asked about the American sanctions, my reply was, ‘Yes, we do appreciate that there could be sanctions on us, but we follow an independent policy. You can be rest assured. While we may be associating with America in getting some technology, but we follow an independent policy’,” he said.

General Rawat continued saying, “I further told them, ‘While we are talking sanctions and you are questioning on sanctions. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at this juncture are signing the treaty on the purchase of S-400 weapon system in spite of the fact that we may face challenges from America in the future and a USD 5.3 billion deal has been signed between the two countries.”

The Army chief went on to add that India is “looking forward to getting Kamov helicopters”. He added, “We are also looking forward to getting other weapon systems and technologies. We are looking forward to getting space-based systems and technologies to enhance our space capabilities”.

The Army Chief, who recently undertook a six-day visit to Russia, met the top brass of the Russian Armed Forces and key military formations and establishments.

The delegation also visited the Mikhailovskaya Artillery Military Academy, the Headquarters of Western Military District in St. Petersburg and General Staff Academy.