NEW Delhi decides to stay away from multi-national war game: Jaishankar says situation on LAC is worse than in 1962 

India withdraws from multinational military exercise with China, Pakistan on Russian soil

India has gone on record saying it will not be part of the annual multilateral Military Exercise Kavkaz 2020 to be held in Southern Russia from 15th to 26th September.PRC  and Pakistan are among the participants. Defence Ministry said, Russia and India are close and privileged strategic partners and at Russia’s invitation India has been participating in many international events. However, in view of Pandemic and consequent difficulties in exercise, including arrangements of logistics, India has decided not to send a contingent this year to Kavkaz-2020. The Ministry said, the decision has been conveyed to the Russian side. India had earlier planned to send around 150 Indian Army troops, 45 Indian Air Force personnel and  Navy officers to the multilateral military exercise. The decision is believed to have been taken amid the ongoing conflict between India and China at the LAC. While Indian officials have taken into account the worsening COVID-19 situation all over the world, sources told ANI that it cannot be business as usual given the fact that India and China are locked in a military conflict with high alert all along the 4,000 kilometre Line of Actual Control (LAC).“A high-level meeting was held in South Block in which External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat were present. They were of the view that it would not be right to take part in the multilateral exercise where Chinese and Pakistani military personnel would also be present,” defence sources are quoted as saying by ANI. Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh is likely to visit  Russia on September 4-6 for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation defence ministers’ meeting and it is highly likely that India is going to raise China’s expansionist policies along the Indian border. It is unlikely that the Indian representative would be holding any talks with his Chinese counterpart. Russia had invited India to depute a contingent of around 200 personnel for the multi-lateral Kavkaz-2020. The exercise is being held in the Astrakhan province of Southern Russia where member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Central Asian countries would be participating. edited by PK Chakravarty. Image courtesy: ZEENEWS

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