New Delhi: Sharing his experience about his just concluded Russia visit on October 6, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday said Russians are very keen to associate with Indian defence forces because of being capable of standing up for right things. 

Delivering an inaugural Gen KV Krishna Rao memorial lecture and dedication of a Military tune 'SHANKHNAAD' to the nation here, Gen Rawat said, “What I could gather from the Russians was -- they are very keen on associating with the Indian Army or the Indian defence forces. Why this is so? Because they do understand that we are a strong Army capable of standing up to what is right for us, based on our strategic thought process.” 

While addressing representatives from 25 countries including China, one of the Russian Officers questioned him about Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanction Act (CAATSA) to which the Army Chief replied, “Yes, we do appreciate that there could be sanctions on us but we follow an independent policy.” 

“The question that was asked to me by one of the Russian Naval officers that you seem to be now looking westwards towards America, but now they have put sanctions on us and they have threatened you with sanctions in case you associate yourself with Russia? I told them that Yes, we do appreciate that there could be sanctions on us but we follow an independent policy. You can be rest assured while we may be associating with America in getting some technology but we follow an independent policy.”

He also told the gatherings that while “we are talking sanctions and you are questioning on sanctions, President Putin and PM Modi at this juncture signing the treaty on purchase of S-400 weapon systems inspite of the fact that we may face challenges from America in the future. And a $5.3bn deal has been signed between two countries.” 

Since India is a sovereign nation, it will pursue its own national interests. “And I also told them that we are looking forward in getting Kamov helicopters, we are also looking forward in getting other weapon systems and techs. We are looking forward in getting space based systems and technologies to enhance our own space capabilities. So that there is no end in sight to a manner in which we can cooperate with your country. I think that is the way forward what is best for the nation strategically important for us,” said Gen Rawat. 

On October 5, Russian President was in India and had signed a 5.3 billion dollars S-400 air defence missiles deal amid US threat of putting CAATSA on India. 

Army Chief visited Russia on October 2 in an effort to further deepen military ties between both nations.

News Agencies