According to sources, this is an act of solidarity in countering the new epidemiological threat

The coronavirus relief fund of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, called the PM Cares fund, has received a donation of $2 million from the Russian government's main defence export body ROSOBORONEXPORT.

According to sources, this is an act of solidarity in countering the new epidemiological threat. "Traditionally India has been one of the major partners of ROSOBORONEXPORT as the supplier of military products. Now, the company is helping India in the humanitarian domain. The amount of donation is $2 million," the sources said.

The donation has been made by the Russian body for acquiring medical equipment and protective gear to be used by the healthcare workers. The money has been transferred already.

In October 2018, India signed a defence deal with ROSOBORONEXPORT for the procurement of S-400 air defence missile systems. The firm is the first foreign donor to acknowledge its contribution to the relief fund.

Moreover, the Indian Embassy in Moscow has widely publicised the PM Cares fund. Recently, Indian ambassador to Russia, D Bala Venkatesh Varma, made a video appeal to publicize the fund in Russia.

Notably, the PM Cares account can receive foreign donations along with domestic, the Centre has announced due to the 'unprecedented nature of the pandemic'. ROSOBORONEXPORT is under the Russian government and the announcement shows the traditional warm ties both Moscow and New Delhi enjoy. In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin had spoken on the COVID-19 crisis. It was followed by a talk between, Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov during which both sides spoke about the close bilateral cooperation in ensuring the welfare of each other’s stranded citizens in their respective countries due to the crisis.

About 15,000 Indian students in Russia and about 5,000 Russian tourists are currently in India. Later in April, as part of BRICS joint plan to deal with the crisis, health officials of all the BRICS countries will meet via video conference.