External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar today held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow. In his statement at the Joint Press conference following the meeting, Dr Jaishankar said the time-tested and trust-based India Russia relationship remains very strong and continues to grow. He expressed appreciation for the support India 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. The Minister said now India has become a partner of Russia in the production and use of the Sputnik V vaccine. He expressed the belief that this is not only good for India and Russia but has positive implications for the rest of the world.
Dr Jaishankar said the situation in Afghanistan occupied attention during the talks because it has a direct implication for regional security. He stressed that the immediate need of the day is a reduction in violence and added that it is important for India and Russia to work together and ensure that much of the progress that has been seen in Afghanistan’s economic, social and democratic terms are maintained. He said both India and Russia are committed to an independent, sovereign, united and democratic Afghanistan.
The Minister said India is very much committed to the centrality and unity of the ASEAN and believes that the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative tabled at the East-Asia Summit is very important for the larger region. He added that India sees a more active Russian presence and participation in the region as something important.