The Soviet Union's deputy Defence Minister and Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces, General Ivan Pavlovsky, arrived in New Delhi on Monday (23 May) for a five-day visit to India.
The Soviet Union's deputy Defence Minister and Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces, General Ivan Pavlovsky, arrived in New Delhi on Monday (23 May) for a five-day visit to India. His talks are apparently aimed at consolidating the already close military and other links between India and Soviet Union.
SYNOPSIS: General Pavlovsky and his delegation were greeted at the airport by the Indian Army's Chief of Staff, General Tapishwar Nath Raina. The two men were scheduled to have several rounds of talks, and General Pavlovsky planned to visit some army establishments. India relies heavily on the Soviet Union for military equipment.
A Defence Ministry spokesman described General Pavlovsky's visit as routine, in response to an invitation made some time ago by General Raina. But political observers say it has more significance.
The general is the second high-ranking Soviet official to meet new Indian Prime Minster Morarji Desai in the past month. The Soviet Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko, went to India last month (April) to discuss the continuance of the Indo-Soviet ties with the new Indian Janata party government, which came to power in March. The Soviet Union was one of India's staunchest allies when former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was in office, but Mr Desai has since stressed he intends to follow a genuine non-alignment policy.
Political observers say General Pavlovsky's visit is of major significance as an early follow-up to Mr Gromyko's visit. Then, three new agreements were signed, extending Soviet aid and increasing the amount of trade between the two. Mr Gromyko's visit was seen as highly successful, and appeared to ensure that there would be no early change in relations - between the two nations.