Reports of India allowing a group of US military officials to visit the Russian-made INS Chakra – an Indian Navy attack submarine – are not based in reality, the head of the Russian military cooperation agency said.
Claims of a rift in Russian-Indian military cooperation were reported last week by the defense news website StrategyPage, and circulated in Russia by business daily Kommersant. The report claimed that India had allowed a group of US Navy personnel to visit the Russian-made Chakra attack submarine, in violation of the lease contract. The nuclear-powered Chakra was transferred to the Indian Navy in 2012 after serving for three years under the name Nerpa in Russia.
Commenting on the claim on Monday, Dmitry Shugaev, the head of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, called the report “bogus.”
“We will not respond to such provocations,” he told Rossiya 24. “Somebody is trying by all [sorts] of tricks to push us out, but India remains our strategic partner. And Indian people and its leadership see us as their strategic partners,” he explained.
India is currently one of world’s biggest arms buyers, investing heavily in the modernization of its armed forces. Russia is a traditional provider of sophisticated military hardware for Delhi, building aircraft and naval ships of designs adopted for India’s requirements. The two countries also cooperate on a number of high-profile joint defense projects, like the ramjet supersonic BrahMos cruise missile.
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