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Monday, April 12, 2021

Russian foreign minister in Delhi next week

Russian President Vladimir Putin is also expected to come to India later in the year.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
April 1, 2021 10:17:59 pm
India ‘object’ of anti-China policy of the West, Russia minister saysRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit India next week and meet his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar. Spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that “On April 5-6, Sergey Lavrov will visit New Delhi to hold talks with Foreign Minister Dr S.Jaishankar”.

She added that the ministers “will discuss bilateral relations and preparations for the upcoming Heads of State meeting”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to come to India later in the year.

It is a usual bilateral visit by the Russian minister. However, it comes at a time when India’s multi-billion-dollar deal to buy the air-defence S-400 systems from Russia has come under pressure from the US recently. Last month US Defence Secretary Llyod Austin had mentioned the deal in his conversations with Indian leaders during his Delhi visit.

Apart from defence, the visit of the Russian foreign minister comes soon after India was formally given a seat on the negotiating table to draw a roadmap for peace in Afghanistan, along with Russia, the US, Pakistan, Iran and China.

The Indian Express had reported on March 9 that Moscow had tried to keep India out of the process, however, after hectic diplomacy by India for months, the US-suggested mechanism had included India.

On March 10, in response to the story, a Russian embassy statement had said that India’s “eventual” involvement was natural. “Russia always stated that India plays a very important role in Afghanistan, and its eventual deeper involvement in dedicated dialogue formats is natural,” the embassy said.

“Dialogue between Russia and India has always been very close and forward-looking on all global and regional issues, including the situation in Afghanistan”. It said, “Due to the complexity of the Afghan settlement, moving towards a relevant regional consensus and coordination with other partners, including the US, is critical. We proceed from the importance of the implementation of the US-Taliban agreement signed in Doha in February 2020 and approved by a UN Security Council resolution.”

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