External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar visited Moscow recently as part of a two-day bilateral visit. During EAM’s visit, Dr. Jaishankar held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, in continuation of the regular high-level dialogue between the two sides.
Mr. Lavrov, in his opening remark during the talks with Dr. Jaishankar, expresses his views on how, during the period of rapid change that the international community is going through recently, it becomes important to coordinate regularly on the assessments of both nations. Moreover, there are plans to promote the achievement of all the objectives set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin in the spheres of trade, economy, politics, investments, and technology, as well as in cultural and humanitarian exchanges.
Mr. Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, went on to say that Russia and India have historical ties that are marked by mutual respect, resistance to fluctuations in the geopolitical situation, and self-sufficiency.Discussions have been made in detail about the state and prospects for ongoing negotiations on the launch of the North-South international corridor and multiple projects related to logistics in common regions of both nations. Cooperation in the field of the energy sector, incorporating an increase in exports of hydrocarbons from Russia to the markets of India and mutual participation in projects for their production, including in the Far East and on the Arctic shelf of the Russian Federation, was pointed out. Moreover, effective cooperation in the field of the peaceful atom, and the successful construction of the Kudankulam NPP were noted. Further steps were discussed in this direction, where a new site for the construction of a Russian-designed NPP would be provided, making it possible to provide India with clean and safe energy in the future.
Further, the leaders examined in detail the state and prospects of military-technical cooperation and the joint production of modern varieties of weapons. Great significance has been given to space exploration in areas such as satellite navigation, space science, and manned programs.
The Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, had talked with Dr. Jaishankar in the format of the meeting of the co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Russian-Indian Commission on trade, technical, economic, scientific, and cultural cooperation. They have substantially interacted in the spheres of economics, trade, and investments and also touched upon the issues of collaboration in the fields of finance and interbank relations, food and energy security, and transport.
Dr. Jaishankar remarks that Russia has been a steady and time-tested partner. Any objective evaluation of India-Russia’s relationship over many decades would affirm that it has served both nations very well. He further added, “As the world’s third-largest consumer of oil and gas, a consumer where the levels of income are not very high, it is our fundamental obligation to ensure that the Indian consumer has the best possible access on the most advantageous terms to international markets.” Responding to a question on the import of Russian oil, External Minister Dr. Jaishankar stated that buying oil from Russia works to the advantage of India while asserting that he would ‘like to keep that going.”