Indian Ambassador to Russia Venkatesh Varma
Indian Ambassador to Russia Venkatesh Varma

COVID-19 pandemic will not affect deliveries of S-400 to India: Indian Ambassador to Russia

ANI | Updated: Aug 25, 2020 02:49 IST

Kubinka [Russia], Aug 25 (ANI): Indian Ambassador to Russia Venkatesh Varma on Monday said that the outbreak of the coronavirus will not affect the deliveries of Russian-made S-400 air defence systems to India.
"The S-400 will be on schedule. The coronavirus will not be affecting the delivery of the S-400," Varma told Sputnik.
India signed a USD 5.43-billion deal with Russia for the purchase of five S-400 systems during the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit in New Delhi on October 5, 2018, for long-term security needs.
Meanwhile, Varma also told Sputnik that India hopes to ink a contract for manufacturing of Russia's Kamov Ka-226 helicopters next year.
"There are still some technical discussions regarding indigenisation of production in India of the Kamov 226 helicopters. We hope that these discussions will be successful soon and therefore we will then go to the next stage of the signing of the contract for the production of Kamov 226," Varma told Sputnik.
He further said that the defence industry cooperation will be one of the key areas of collaboration between India and Russia and it will be addressed at the upcoming India-Russia bilateral summit.
"The Indian-Russian bilateral summit will cover all issues -- political, economic, trade, energy. And, of course, defence cooperation will be one of the main pillars of cooperation," Varma told Sputnik.
"We expect some very major announcements, including Russian support for the Make in India program of Prime Minister Modi. Russia has extended very positive support, we are very grateful for that," he added.
Earlier today, the diplomat said that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is likely to attend the events of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
Further, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to participate in the SCO meet. (ANI)