The Russian government's main defence export body, Rosoboronexport, has donated $2 million for Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) formed to combat the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis. The announcement shows the traditional warm ties both Moscow and New Delhi enjoy.
"Traditionally India has been one of the major partners of Rosoboronexport as the supplier of military products. Now, the company is helping India in the humanitarian domain. The amount of donation is $2 million. This is an act of solidarity in countering the new epidemiological threat," the source said.
The PM CARES fund, set up by the Centre, has received the donation from Rosoboronexport for the purposes of acquiring the medical equipment and medical protective gear. The money has already been transferred.
The last big deal India signed with Rosoboronexport was in October 2018 for the S-400 air defence missile system. Rosoboronexport is the first foreign donor to acknowledge its contribution to PM CARES fund.
The Indian Embassy in Moscow, Russia, has publicised PM CARES Fund widely. In fact, Indian ambassador to Russia D. Bala Venkatesh Varma made a video appeal to publicise the fund in Russia.
The central government has announced that PM CARES Fund, being a public charitable trust, will accept a contribution from India and abroad "keeping in mind the unprecedented nature of the pandemic".
In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin had spoken on the COVID-19 crisis. It was followed by a talk between, Foreign Secretary Harsh V. Shringla and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov during which both sides spoke about the close bilateral cooperation in ensuring the welfare of each other’s stranded citizens in their respective countries due to the crisis.
About 15,000 Indian students in Russia and about 5,000 Russian tourists are currently in India. Later in April, as part of BRICS joint plan to deal with the crisis, health officials of all the BRICS countries will meet via video conference.
Source - Zee News