India, Russia to hold 2+2 dialogue this year: Jaishankar

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 09, 2021

Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrive for a joint news conference in Moscow   -  REUTERS

Discusses energy, defence, infrastructure, economic ties with Russian counterpart

India and Russia will hold the 2+2 Dialogue of Foreign and Defence Ministers sometime as per mutual convenience this year, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar has said.

Both countries have made good progress in various dimensions of cooperation despite the fact that for the last one year it has been through virtual contacts, the Minister said at a joint press conference in Moscow after his bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Friday.

“I can assure you that when the Annual Bilateral Summit takes place this year, the development, the progress in our cooperation will be very much on display before all of you,” he said.

Jaishankar expressed appreciation for the support the country got from Russia during the second wave of the Covid pandemic this year. “There were four consignments which were flown-in on a very expedited basis by the Russian Government and of course as you’ve also heard now India has become a partner of Russia in the production and use of the Sputnik V vaccine and we believe that this is not only good for the two of us but it has positive implication for the rest of the world,” he said.

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant project is on track and Foreign Minister Lavrov explained that the concrete first pour for Unit 5 has taken place.

“The energy co-operation between us has grown very significantly in the last few years and we see that today reflected both in new potential investments and long term commitments which we have agreed to in the field of oil and gas,” Jaishankar said. The Minister is in Moscow on a three-day visit.

Defence tie-up

Our defence military technical cooperation, and even industrial collaboration, today has been strengthened by Russian interest in the ‘Make in India’ programme, which is very visible, the Minister added.

The two countries have been discussing greater inter regional cooperation particularly with the Russian far east. “We spoke about how we could take that forward, there are some agreements which have to be signed, I think we have made some progress there,” Jaishankar said.

Discussions of the possibility of a Free Trade Agreement between India and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) has been on between the two sides for some time. The EAEU is a free trade bloc consisting of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The Indian Minister discussed connectivity, especially the North South Corridor with both Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov and Lavrov and also talked about the Chennai-Vladivostok Eastern Maritime Corridor. “I briefed him about what is happening in terms of developments in India and I think overall our sense of economic co-operation and science and technology co-operation was very positive,” he said.

Published on July 09, 2021

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