Jan 25, 2014, 5:14 AM
News Code: 81009066
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India, Russia work to meet Afghanistan’s weapons wish list

New Delhi, Jan 25, IRNA -- India and Russia are working on an understanding by which New Delhi would be able to meet Afghanistans defence wish list.

Both countries are in talks whereby Russia could provide some of the items on Hamid Karzai’s list while India could foot the bill. This may not be the best solution to the issue, but there is a greater appreciation of Afghanistans security imperatives after Nato forces pull out later this year.

The negotiation, which involves Afghanistan as well, is tackling a couple of issues. India cannot possibly meet Karzai’s wish list which was presented to Manmohan Singh after New Delhi had promised to take care of Afghanistan’s defence needs in a strategic partnership agreement, a leading English daily The Times of India reported here today. India itself being the worlds greatest importer of weapons, it would be ambitious for India to take on the defence supplies to Afghanistan as well.

Afghanistan has a history of familiarity with Russian weapons and defence systems. It has indicated that it would be more comfortable with Russian systems than others. It has also been proposed that some weapons could also be sourced from central Asian countries which also use Russian systems.

However, no agreement is on the cards yet

Meanwhile as a first step, India and Russia have decided to revive a weapons maintenance factory in Afghanistan. Afghan ambassador Shaida Abdali was quoted as saying recently, India and Russia will jointly help revive the maintenance factory. Experts have already met and are discussing the details. We will need about 120 officers for the training facility, and Indians can pitch in.