The visit by the Soviet Defence Minister, Mr. Andrei Grechko, to India has taken on?
The visit by the Soviet Defence Minister, Mr. Andrei Grechko, to India has taken on special significance following the American decision to lift its embargo on arms sales to Pakistan.
Marshal Grechko began his talks in New Delhi on Monday (24 February)... the same day the American decision was announced. The move brought angry reaction from some Indians. Demonstrators camped outside the locked gates of the American embassy chanting anti-American slogans. There was a lot of noise, but no incidents.
Marshal Grechko is accompanied by the chiefs of the Soviet Air Force and Navy. The group had a 45 minute discussion soon after arrival with the Indian Defence Minister, Mr Swaran Singh and the three Indian service heads. Later in their visit the delegation will meet the Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi.
A team of Soviet experts has been in India for the last week discussion India's defence needs, especially demands for more sophisticated weapons and advanced military aircraft.
Its thought the Indian requests will be strengthened as a result of the American decision which the Delhi Government believes will lead to another arms race on the sub-continent. It could even upset reconciliation moves following the 1971 Bangladesh war.