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India, Russia discuss Admiral Gorshkov, piracy threat

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NEW DELHI (PTI): India and Russia on Monday discussed ways to increase cooperation in tackling the growing threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean region and the issue of training navy personnel for operating aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov.

The deliberations in this regard were held between Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma and his Russian counterpart Admiral Vladimir Sergeevich Vysotskiy, who arrived here Monday on a three-day visit.

"Whilst discussing the maritime environment, specific emphasis was laid on the growing threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and various possibilities for the two navies to co-operate," Navy officials said here.

Discussions on ongoing projects included "detailed deliberations on the training of Indian Naval personnel for the operation of aircraft carrier rechristened as INS Vikramaditya, scheduled to commence later this year," they said.

India had placed orders for the 44,500 tonne Admiral Gosshkov aircraft carrier in 2004 but the delivery schedule of the warship was delayed due to frequent price revision by the Russian side.

After the issue related to the purchase was settled last year, the warship is now expected to join the Indian Navy by the end of 2012.

The two Admirals also held discussions on issues of common interest ranging from the maritime environment in the Indian Ocean Region and operational philosophies of the two navies.

They also discussed the ways of enhancing possibilities for regularising Navy-to-Navy interactions with 'staff talks' and the feasibility of enhancing the scope of the INDRA exercises between the Indian and the Russian navies.

During his visit, Vysotskiy will also visit the Mumbai-based Western Naval Command and go on-board INS Shivalik, the indigenously built stealth frigate.

The two countries share deep historical military relations which have transformed into a strategic partnership with joint developmental projects such as BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile system and Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft being cases in point.

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