The Defence Ministry on Saturday has said that India will not be sending its contingent to the multinational military exercise Kavkaz 2020 next month in Russia citing difficulties due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“Russia and India are privileged strategic partner. At Russia’s invitation, India has been participating in many international events. However, due to COVID-19 and consequent difficulties in exercise, India has decided not to send a contingent this year to Kavkaz 2020. The same has been informed to the Russian side,” said Defence Ministry spokesperson A Bharat Bhushan Babu.
According to news agency ANI, the decision was taken after a high level meeting which included External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat.
“It would not be right to take part in the multinational exercise where Chinese and Pakistani military personnel would also be present,” Defence sources told ANI.
Pakistan, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Belarus, Turkey, Armenia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are set to take part in the event.
Kazkaz 2020 will take place from 15 September through 26 September at Donguz training ranges in Russia’s Orenburg.