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Poor Sense on Defence

THE visit of the Soviet Defence Minister, Dimitri Ustinov, to this country from March 5 to 10 was from all accounts an unqualified success. Ustinov had two meetings with the Indian Prime Minister: a long 105-minute one without aides and another at a luncheon hosted by Indira Gandhi at which Rajiv Gandhi too was present. It has been made known that the Soviet Union has agreed to supply highly sophisticated arms for the Indian army, navy and air force, including advanced MiG 29 and MiG 31 aircraft. And in the talks between Indian leaders and the Soviet delegation there is said 'to have been a "commonality of approach and perception" in respect of the "security environment" in South Asia particularly and over the globe as a whole. Speaking at the Indian Defence Minister's banquet in his honour, Ustinov said, "We also worry about the United States' militarisation of the states of South Asia, including those next to peaceful India".

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