On 26th November 2021, External affairs minister Dr S. Jaishankar will chair a virtual meeting of the foreign ministers of the Russia-India-China grouping today. The summit will focus on strengthening trilateral cooperation and a review of regional and global issues. This is the 18th meeting of the Foreign Ministers. India took over the chairmanship of the RIC after the last meeting of RIC Foreign Ministers in Moscow in September 2020. Under the RIC framework, the foreign ministers of the three countries will come together and meet periodically to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues that interest them.
The meeting will be held in the digital video conference format. According to the statement published by the Ministry of External Affairs, the Foreign Ministers are expected to discuss further strengthening of RIC trilateral cooperation including exchange of views on various regional and international issues of importance.
Chinese authorities have mentioned how they wish to strengthen the relationship with India and Russia through better communication, mutual trust and hope to build consensus with them. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian during the media briefing stated that “As major countries with global influence and the most representative emerging economies, China, Russia and India hold similar positions and shoulder important responsibility.” He further stated, “China hopes to strengthen communication, enhance mutual trust build consensus with Russia and India through this meeting, and send positive messages to the world of practising real multilateralism, promoting democracy in international relations, fighting the pandemic together, boosting economic recovery and safeguarding world peace and stability.”
The strategic partnership between India and Russia has stood out as a long-standing, time-tested relationship. The two sides have built close political, strategic, defence, energy and investment ties which they continue to promote and nurture through bilateral and multilateral engagements. As the rise of China threatens the existing order, the question of the impact of ongoing developments on the Indo-Russia relationship has gained increasing salience, especially as the US-China rivalry intensifies. While the two partners take steps to strengthen their existing relationship, these external factors continue to exert pressure on their policy-making, including the ongoing debate over the Indo-Pacific and the nature of China’s rise. With China-India’s unsettling issues especially the border ones and China’s increasing influence in the region has brought some major security and stability issues forefront.