New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Russia to participate in the Victory Day parade in Moscow on June 24.
“Raksha Mantri would be visiting Moscow next week to further cement the strong and historic bonds of friendship between Russia & India. RM will also be attending the Grand Parade in Moscow to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of their victory in great Patriotic War of 1941-1945,” the Defence Minister Office said in a tweet on Saturday.
His visit assumes significance as the Indian Air Force (IAF) has pushed a proposal to the government for acquiring 33 new fighter aircraft, including 21 MiG-29s and 12 Su-30MKIs from Russia.
Defence Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Shoigu has invited Raksha Mantri to the Victory Parade, which was originally scheduled on May 9, 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I wish a safe journey to Defence Minister of strategic partner India Shri @rajnathsingh who is scheduled to depart to Moscow on Monday to witness the Great #VictoryDay Military Parade on June 24. #Victory75 #VDay,” Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev said in a tweet.
The Parade is organised to honour the heroism and sacrifices made by the Russian and other friendly people.
Mr Singh would also meet the top officials of the Russian Federation during his visit, the sources said.
The parade will commemorate the 75th anniversary of victory in the World War-II. India is a key ally of Russia and before that, the Soviet Union.
A Tri-Service 75- Member Indian Military Contingent has already reached Moscow to participate in the Victory Parade along with Russian contingent and other invited contingents, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
The marching contingent taking part in the Victory Day Parade is led by a major rank officer of the gallant Sikh Light Infantry Regiment, it added.
The Regiment had fought with valour in the World War II and has proud distinction of earning four Battle Honours and two Military Cross amongst other gallantry awards.
The Indian participation in the Victory Day parade will be a mark of tribute to the great sacrifices made by Russia and other nations in the Second World War in which Indian soldiers also participated and made supreme sacrifice.
It may be recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had congratulated President of the Russian Federation Mr Vladimir Putin and Defence Minister congratulated his counterpart through special messages sent on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Victory Day.
His visit will strengthen the longstanding special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia, it added.
Senior officials, including Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar would also accompany the minister to Russia.