India’s Foreign Minister, S. Jaishankar, is currently in Russia for a five-day visit. Before meetings with top Russian leaders, Jaishankar emphasized in a program that the enduring strength of India-Russia relations is rooted in mutual dependence in geopolitics and strategic aspects. Sharing this sentiment on social media, he mentioned that talks with Russian leaders will address connectivity improvements, regional conflicts, and various other issues.
In the context of the Ukraine conflict, India chose not to openly criticize Russia, despite widespread global condemnation of Russian actions. Even though criticism surfaced internationally following Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, India refrained from publicly criticizing its long-standing friend. While expressing opposition to the war, Indian leadership exercised caution, stressing the importance of diplomacy and dialogue for conflict resolution.
Post the Ukraine conflict, India increased its crude oil imports from Russia. During his visit to Russia, Jaishankar is anticipated to meet the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Industry and Trade, and engage in discussions with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov.
The Ministry of External Affairs highlighted a focus on strengthening cultural and people-to-people ties in a statement. Jaishankar’s discussions will span various sectors, including trade, energy, defense, and connectivity. The Foreign Minister’s visit to Russia is scheduled from December 25 to 29.
Regrettably, this year’s annual summit between India and Russia, known as the “Shikhar Sammelan,” did not occur. The absence of the summit is compensated by efforts to maintain warmth in bilateral relations through the Foreign Minister’s visit. The most recent summit took place on December 6, 2021, when Russian President Vladimir Putin visited India. Challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict prevented subsequent summits. Prime Minister Modi’s last visit to Russia dates back to September 2019.
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