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Letters: Russian friendship

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This refers to the editorial “The Russian connection” (December 27). The Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, 1971 set the foundation of India’s cordial relations with Russia. In the light of India’s security concern with China, India and Russia’s friendship needs to be augmented. Nikita Khrushchev looked in a different direction when China attacked India in 1962, and said China was Russia’s brother and India a friend. Among all good relations with Russia, the “Gorshkhov curse” and Khrushchev’s statement are relevant.

Chinese invasion has consumed our strategic depth provided by Tibet and Nepal, besides capturing our territory. To bring the situation back to normal, our aim should be to ensure that China honours its commitment of withdrawing the People’s Liberation Army to a position it was on August 15, 1947.

It is observed that whenever the Ministry of Defence is pressured by public opinion for promoting defence industries in India, foreign arms suppliers come out with a sale of cutting-edge technology. This trade cycle by foreigners has to be broken, if our own industry is to come up. In this context, India must be prepared for a modest beginning. Training and leadership are battle-winning factors, and not high technology items alone. France has been given a massive contract to supply aircraft for the Indian Air Force. This contract needs to be revisited if the supplier is unwilling to raise their factories in India. Similarly, Israel is willing to supply high technology needs but the country must be motivated to raise their factories in India. Indian defence’s research and development should be world-class. And public-private partnerships need to be encouraged.

J C Joshi Lucknow

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