Home International Relations Visit of Indian External Affairs Minister to Russia: Towards Strengthening Bilateral Ties

Visit of Indian External Affairs Minister to Russia: Towards Strengthening Bilateral Ties

The Indian External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, paid a visit to Russia from December 25–29. During his visit, Dr. Jaishankar met with several dignitaries. He met His Excellency Vladimir Putin. He also met the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Industry and Trade, H.E. Denis Manturov and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Sergey Lavrov. Discussions were held to review the current status of bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Several MoUs were also signed to create new avenues of cooperation.

Meeting with Dignitaries:

Dr. Jaishankar, in his meetings, discussed avenues of bilateral cooperation between India and Russia in the sectors of trade and economy, energy, connectivity, defense, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and also cooperation between regions of both nations. He also discussed aspects of global and regional development in multilateral cooperation. Three important documents were signed during the visit: first, relating to the Kudan Kulam nuclear power plants; second, an MoU on cooperation in the sector of healthcare and pharmaceuticals; and third, a Protocol on Foreign Office Consultations. Dr. Jaishankar also held discussions with Russian academicians and think tanks regarding India’s foreign policy and also about India-Russia relations. He also interacted with the Indian diaspora in Moscow, Russia’s capital city, and highlighted the rich contribution of the community in enhancing people-to-people ties and inter-cultural goodwill.

Dr. Jaishankar also met with Governor H.E. Alexander Beglov in St. Petersburg, where they held discussions on extending bilateral cooperation in the economic and cultural fields too. He visited Saint Petersburg University and met several indologists to discuss how to improve the understanding of cultures among the people of both countries. Furthermore, he visited School No. 653, a premier institute, and interacted with students and teachers. The institute is named after the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore and also teaches Hindi as part of its regular curriculum.

Vladimir Putin’s Invitation to PM Modi:

President Vladimir Putin extended his invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Russia next year for the annual summit between the two countries. The former conveyed this during his meeting with Dr. S. Jaishankar, who pointed out how the two leaders have been in regular contact with each other. The summit is held to be the highest institutional dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between the two nations. 21 annual summits have taken place to date, alternatively hosted by India and Russia. The last annual summit took place in December 2021 in India. Talking about Russia’s trade relations with India, Putin mentioned that the “trade turnover is growing for the second year in a row at the same time and at a steady pace. The growth rate this year is even higher than in the last year.” Furthermore, India’s import of crude oil from Russia has also been on the increase over the last few years.

The bilateral relations between both countries have been strong based on geopolitical interests, strategic convergences, and mutual cooperation between them. Dr. S. Jaishankar’s visit to Russia provided an opportunity for both nations to review and strengthen their Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.