New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin extended an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the celebrations during the 20th Annual Summit in September this year.

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has confirmed the participation of an Indian military contingent in the 75th Anniversary of the victory in the Second World War next year. 

“As a special gesture, the Russian Defence Minister requested Rajnath Singh for the participation of an Indian Military Contingent in Army Parade on the occasion of 75th Anniversary of the victory in the Second World War", the statement issued by Indian Defence Ministry said, while adding that the Indian minister had replied to the gesture in positively.

The Modi government has been extending their full support to the Victory Day celebrations since they began, unlike the Congress Party, which has had a cautious approach towards Russia since India gained independence in 1947. Former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee participated during the 70th Victory Day anniversary in May 2015, as the Modi government wanted to ensure India's participation.

Moscow is planning to invite parading groups from the Allies of World War II, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to the Victory Day parade in Moscow next year, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Andrey Kartapolov said last Friday.

Russia holds a military parade in Moscow’s Red Square every year on 9 May to celebrate the defeat of Nazi Germany. In 2020, parades will take place in 28 cities. Besides Moscow, they will be held in such hero cities as Volgograd, Novorossiysk, Saint Petersburg, Sevastopol, Smolensk, and Tula.

In addition, smaller scale celebrations will take place in 374 Russian cities and villages and in seven cities abroad, where Russian troops are located, including Syria's Hmeymim.

Earlier in the day, Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu held a wide-ranging discussion on defence cooperation during a meeting at the 19th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-M&MTC) in Moscow on Wednesday.

Welcoming Rajnath Singh on his maiden visit to Russia as defence minister, General Shoigu termed India as an exclusive strategic defence partner. The Indian minister emphasised that the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries was further strengthened following the Vladivostok Summit in September 2019.