Thursday, April 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Fernandes arrives in Moscow

Moscow, April 10
Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes arrived here today for a five-day official visit, during which he will discuss pending defence deals, including the much-delayed acquisition of the aircraft carrier “Admiral Gorshkov’’, and hold talks on intensifying cooperation in security matters.

He was received by Russian Deputy Defence Minister Mikhail Dmitriyev at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo-2 Airport. Indian Ambassador to Moscow K. Raghunath was also present there.

The Defence Minister is accompanied by a nine-member defence delegation, which includes Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral S.V. Gopalachari, Maj-Gen C.S. Brar, Additional Director-General, Army Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal P.K. Desai, Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Additional Secretaries Ajay Prasad and Dhirender Singh and Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Anil Wadhwa.

Mr Fernandes is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin besides the foreign and defence ministers.

He will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ivanov tomorrow. The two sides are expected to take final decisions on some important pending defence deals, including Indian acquisition of aircraft carrier “Admiral Gorshkov’’.

Mr Fernades is also expected to urge the Russians to speed up the delivery of various military equipment, including the T-90 main battle tanks (MBT).

On April 12, he will visit Nizhny Tagil’s Uralvagonzavod which manufactures T-90 tanks for India. UNIBack

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