New Delhi: India mentioned unprovoked aggression along borders, severe militarisation in the neighbourhood, and other challenges at the inaugural '2+2' defence and foreign ministerial dialogue with Russia.
However, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh asserted that India is confident of overcoming the challenges with a strong political will and an inherent capability of its people, PTI reported.
Rajnath Singh said that the pandemic, the extraordinary militarisation and expansion in India's neighbourhood with unprovoked aggression at the country's northern borders since early 2020 had posed several challenges. But he has not named China, though, while referring to the attack in eastern Ladakh.
He said that India seeks sensitive and responsive partners who could see its expectations and requirements as it needs colossal development and faces legitimate and immediate challenges to defence.
Referring to the talks, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin are yet to interact later in the day, Singh said this was a historic day in the two countries' bilateral relations.
India and Russia's defence engagements progressed in an unprecedented manner in recent times, and ties between them have been close and steady in a world that has changed so much. The two nations are meeting at a critical juncture in the geopolitical environment, which is continuously evolving post the pandemic.
As close friends and strategic partners, the two nations have been working together to safeguard the common interests and prosperity of their people, he said.
Further, he described terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation as chief challenges the country is facing. The situation in Afghanistan has broad repercussions for central Asia also, he added.
The talks are being also attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and Russian Defence Minister Gen Sergey Shoigu.