Russia has said that absence of an agreement wth India on protection of military intellectual property rights (IPR) has become a "tangible barrier" in joint development of sophisticated weapons and cutting-edge defence technologies but hoped the pact would be signed by year-end.
"Indo-Russian defence cooperation began in 1960 and has been steadily growing for almost fifty years now. India's share in Russia's arms exports amounts to minimum 40 per cent," Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov told PTI on the eve of his four-day visit to India beginning today.
"We have left behind primitive schemes like buyer-seller relationship and have successfully developed Brahmos cruise missiles, multi-role fighters (Su-30MKI), fruitful interaction is underway in naval shipbuilding, but further advance is stalled due to lack of IPR agreement. It has become a barrier, a tangible barrier," he said.
The Russian Defence Minister reminded that this issue was strongly raised during President Vladimir Putin's talks in New Delhi with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during the Indo-Russian summit last December.
"We have dropped our initial demand of its retrospective effect (on Soviet era supplies) and the latest draft of the agreement has been sent to New Delhi for approval," he said, hoping that by the end of this year the inter-governmental would be signed clearing the way for the joint development of sophisticated weapons and cutting-edge defence technologies.
Ivanov is expected to reach New Delhi tonight to watch the active phase of bi-annual Indo-Russian wargames 'Indra-2005' involving elite airborne troops and naval warships on October 16-18 in Rajasthan and Bay of Bengal.