Friendship: Indo-Russia ties are very strong and steady, says Dr. Jaishankar
New Delhi: Meeting his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow to discuss bilateral cooperation in different spheres, the international strategic situation, conflicts, and tensions, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Wednesday said that the relationship between India and Russia has been “very strong, very steady.”
The EAM, who is on a five-day visit to Russia, in his opening remarks, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin have been in frequent contact.
For 70 to 80 years, only Indo-Russia relations have remained a constant in the world, he said.
“Our relations have been very strong, very steady. And I think we have lived up to a special and privileged strategic partnership. This year we have already met six times, and this is our seventh meeting,” he said, noting that forums like G-20, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), ASEAN, and BRICS allowed many more regular contacts.
On Wednesday, the two sides will focus on bilateral cooperation in different spheres, adjusting it to changing circumstances and demands, he said.
“We will discuss the international strategic situation, conflicts, and tensions, also focus on development challenges that the Global South faces and of course the multilateralism and the building of a multipolar world order,” he said.
Dr. Jaishankar said the two sides have seen different expressions of their cooperation this year. “I will also mention our presence at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum at the Far Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok at the meetings. And on the bilateral economic cooperation the India, Russia intergovernmental commission, which I had co-chaired with Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov,” he said.
“We are very glad to see continued progress and we expect a strong Russian participation at the Vibrant Gujarat meeting in January,” he added.
On his part, Russian FM Lavrov said the relations between India and Russia are very long and very good and it’s good to see that they’re moving on consistently.
On Tuesday, Jaishankar held a “comprehensive and productive” meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Manturov on the bilateral economic cooperation during which they witnessed the signing of some “very important” agreements related to the construction of the future power-generating units of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.
The bilateral ties between India and Russia remained strong even after Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022. India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and maintained that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.
India’s import of Russian crude oil has gone up significantly despite increasing disquiet over it in many Western countries.
“The time-tested India-Russia partnership has remained stable and resilient and continues to be characterized by the spirit of the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a press release ahead of Dr. Jaishankar’s visit.