Holding that there could be "no double standards" in the fight against terrorism, India and Russia on Wednesday said there was an urgent need for all to come together to combat this "plague" of the 21st Century.
This came during the 16th meeting of the inter-governmental commission on military-technical cooperation, co-chaired by defence minister Manohar Parrikar and his Russian counterpart General Sergey Shoygu, here in South Block.
The meeting also led to India moving closer to inking the actual contracts with Russia for the $5.5 billion acquisition of five S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems and the $4 billion one for four Grigorivich-class stealth frigates as well as kicking off the joint ventures for production of 200 Kamov-226T light utility helicopters and longer-range BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.
Clearly hitting out at Pakistan, Parrikar said one of the key security challenges faced by India was that of cross-border terrorism. "We appreciate Russia's consistent and unwavering support for India in our efforts to eliminate this menace, which is a manifestation of the continued presence of terrorists groups in our neighbourhood," he said.
"Russia has also been actively engaged in efforts to eliminate terrorists in West Asia. We both recognise that the menace of terrorism cannot be defeated with double standards. There is a need for zero tolerance and collective efforts to combat terrorism," he added.
Agreeing with India's concerns, Shoygu said "double standards, sometimes even triple standards, were absolutely unacceptable" in the fight against terrorism. He said he did not believe that someone who was a terrorist on Monday could transform himself into "a moderate opposition representative" on Tuesday.
The two countries also decided to embark on a more extensive roadmap to step up the bilateral defence cooperation in line with the decisions taken during the Modi-Putin summit in Goa on October 15.
As earlier reported by TOI, during the Modi-Putin summit, India corrected the pronounced tilt towards the US in terms of defence deals over the last decade by inking intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) collectively worth $10.5 billion with Russia.
Apart from the pacts for S-400 missile systems and the stealth frigates, there is the joint venture to produce 200 Kamov-226T light utility helicopters in India for around $1 billion. India is also going to lease a second nuclear-powered Russian submarine for $1.5 billion, even as the two sides will now develop an upgraded version of the 290-km BrahMos supersonic cruise missile to enable it to strike targets 600-km away.