18:13 28.02.2017

Change of political situation not to affect defense cooperation between Ukraine, India – Indian ambassador

India is interested in boosting defense and technical cooperation with Ukraine, and the change of the political situation in the Asian region due to the new situation in the United States would not affect plans of Ukrainian-Indian defense cooperation, Ambassador of India to Ukraine Manoj Kumar Bharti has said.

"Ukraine and India have tight cooperation in the defense and industrial sphere. The Indian government is making responsible steps to develop this partnership," he said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday.

He said that India is interested in shifting the focus of partnership from trade towards investment. Today the countries are holding negotiations on the joint creation of some high-tech industrial facilities.

Commenting on the likelihood of the impact of the change of the political situation in the Asian region due to the new situation in the United States on the plans and potential of Ukrainian-Indian defense cooperation, the Indian diplomat said: "I do not think that the sphere of our interests is linked to the change of the situation in the United States, Europe or Asia."

Ukrainian-Indian cooperation would not be touched by 'any changes' in the next five years, he said.

India is among old and most promising partners of Ukraine in the defense and industrial area. In 2009, the countries signed one of the largest contracts for $400 million to repair and modernize 105 An-32 aircraft of Indian Air Forces. Earlier India showed its interest in stirring up defense cooperation in the area of technologies transfer, development of defense production in India with the help of Ukrainian enterprises and joint military research. The countries have been cooperating in the military ship building sector for over 20 years.

Ukraine has a goal to increase defense cooperation with India by 2019 and bring its volume to $500 million a year.

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