INDIA is Russia's longstanding partner in the military field and reconsidering military-technical cooperation is completely out of the question. This issue was not even discussed during the latest Yeltsin-Clinton summit," a well-placed Kremlin source told Outlook. He was commenting on speculation in the Indian press that the US president had put pressure on Russia to abandon its arms sales to India.
The subsequent outcry and speculation in the Indian media over Yeltsin's ability to defy Clinton and honour defence contracts with India took the Kremlin completely by surprise. "Something must be wrong with your reports. I want to assure you the matter was not raised," said a Russian official, who drafted the summit documents. India was only mentioned in the joint statement vis-a-vis the challenges to global security, where two sides voiced concern over the nuclear tests in Asia.
The Moscow-based radio station Echo Moscwy, whose report was quoted by PTI, was not able to trace the origin of the report. "Such mishaps happen. Somebody in a rush must have mixed up India with Iran or Iraq," the duty editor joked.