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Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to meet in Russia

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Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to meet in Russia

Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Photo: Russian Presidential Press and Information Service

India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is in Moscow today to hold talks with his Russian counterpart at a crucial meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The SCO, seen as a counterweight to NATO, has emerged as one of the largest trans-regional international organisations and is currently chaired by Russia.

The bilateral meeting comes amid the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh between India and China, both influential SCO members. India and Russia are expected to discuss expediting joint defence production projects and critical defence supplies.

New Delhi had decided to withdraw from Kavkaz-2020, a multilateral military exercise that was scheduled to be held in southern Russia this month. Despite this, expect New Delhi and Moscow to further their strategic partnership by taking forward defence proposals from the 2019 summit held in Vladivostok.

Meanwhile, Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe will attend an annual meeting of SCO defence ministers. Despite recent clashes between New Delhi and Beijing, military commanders from both sides have been conducting emergency meetings this week in a bid to de-escalate tensions. The thorny border dispute may be tabled for discussion at the meeting, but the summit is unlikely to yield either explicit talks between the two rivals or Russian mediation efforts to diffuse tensions.

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