Raksha Mantri On Official Visit To Russia From September 3-5

⦁ Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh is visiting Moscow from September 3-5, 2020 at the invitation of Defence Minister of Russian Federation General Shergei Shoigu
   ⦁ to attend the combined meeting of Defence Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO),
   ⦁ Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and
   ⦁ Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member States
   ⦁ in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of victory in the World War II.
⦁ During his visit, Raksha Mantri is also scheduled to meet Defence Minister General Shoigu to discuss bilateral cooperation and issues of mutual interest.
⦁ Visit comes just days after India pulled out of a multilateral war drill in Russia, which is expected to be attended by China and Pakistan.
⦁ This will be Singh’s second visit to Moscow since June, after he had represented India at the Victory Day Parade in Moscow on June 24 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
⦁ The defence ministers meeting in Moscow is being held amid fresh tensions between India and China following Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s futile attempts to alter the status quo on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake in eastern Ladakh.
⦁ External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be in Moscow for the SCO foreign ministers meet September 9-11.
⦁ A Russia-India-China (RIC) foreign ministers’ meet is being explored on the sidelines of SCO defence ministers conclave and the visit by Jaishankar would give an opportunity to keep the channel of communication open between the two sides.
⦁ SCO Summit being planned in October that could see the participation by PM Narendra Modi alongside the Chinese President in St Petersburg.
⦁ Russian President Vladimir Putin could visit Delhi for his annual summit also in October.
⦁ This edition of the summit would take forward proposals of the 2019 summit held in Vladivostok.
⦁ Key deliverables could include Mutual Logistics Services Pact for the two navies, investments in the energy sector, expansion in space cooperation and creation of new maritime connectivity networks.
⦁ The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan;
⦁ The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter, formally establishing the organisation, was signed in June 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003.
⦁ The original five nations, with the exclusion of Uzbekistan, were previously members of the Shanghai Five group, founded on 26 April 1996.
⦁ Since then, the organisation has expanded its membership to eight countries when India and Pakistan joined SCO as full members on 9 June 2017 at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.