EAM Jaishankar meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow

EAM Jaishankar meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday held a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Indian Ambassador to Russia Pavan Kapoor were present at the meeting.

Earlier in the day, Jaishankar met Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and held discussions on a wide range of global issues Indo-Pacific, Ukraine conflict as well as Gaza.

The two leaders also discussed progress in economic cooperation, connectivity efforts, military-technical cooperation and people-to-people exchange. Jaishankar noted that ties between India and Russia reflect geopolitical realities, strategic convergence and mutual benefit.

In a post shared on X, Jaishankar stated, "A wide ranging and useful meeting with FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia. As strategic partners, discussed the international situation and contemporary issues. Exchanged views on Indo-Pacific, the Ukraine conflict, the Gaza situation , Afghanistan and Central Asia, BRICS, SCO, G20 and the UN. Noted the progress in our economic cooperation, energy trade, connectivity efforts, military-technical cooperation and people to people exchanges. Signed Protocol on Consultations for the period 2024-28. India-Russia relations reflect geopolitical realities, strategic convergence and mutual benefit."

After the meeting, Jaishankar and Lavrov held a joint press conference. Jaishankar appreciated the India-Russia trade, which is at an all-time high. He said that the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between India and the Eurasian Economic Union will resume in January next year.The Eurasian Economic Union is an economic union of five post-Soviet states located in Eurasia.

"We have had a very good session of talks and today, what really came out was India-Russia relationship remains very steady, very strong. They are based on strategic convergence on geopolitical interests and because they are mutually beneficial," Jaishankar said.

He added, "We spent a lot of time discussing political cooperation, with regards to a lot of international issues including international organisations like BRICS of which Russia will be the President, SCO".

Speaking on bilateral cooperation, Jaishankar appreciated the fact that the India-Russia trade is at an all-time high and crossed 50 billion USD last year. "What is important is that this trade is more balanced, sustainable, and provides for more market access," he added.

He called Russia India's "valued and time-tested" partner. He said India and Russia have benefited enormously from the relationship that the two nations share and added that the developments in various sectors, including trade, investment and military technical cooperation showcase a good sense of importance that New Delhi attaches to its ties with Moscow.

In response to a question about India-Russia ties, Jaishankar said, "For us, Russia is a very valued partner. It's very time-tested partner. It's a relationship from which both India and Russia have benefited enormously and my presence here today and the fact you know all the developments that I have pointed out including our growing trade, investments, our military technical cooperation, our connectivity projects. I think all of this will give you a good sense of the importance and the value that we attach to the relationship."

Meanwhile, Sergey Lavrov expressed Russia's willingness to support India's initiative to produce military products as part of 'Made In India' program. Lavrov said he and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during the meeting took a number of steps that will expand cooperation between India and Russia, including the launch of the North-South International Transport Corridor as well as establishment of the Chennai Vladivostok route.

During the joint press conference, Lavrov said, "We have also discussed the prospects of military and technical cooperation, including the joint production of modern weaponry. We also have specific steps in the area. Our cooperation is of strategic nature, strengthening it corresponds to the national interests of states, the interests of Security in the Eurasian continent."

"As mentioned before, we are respectful of the aspiration of our Indian colleagues to diversify their military and technical links. We also understand and hence we are ready to support their initiative to produce military products as part of the 'Made in India' program. We stand ready to cooperate in this area. We have reaffirmed our aspiration to strengthen energy cooperation," he added.

Lavrov said he and Jaishankar agreed to expand legal framework of India-Russia relations, in particular to accelerate the adoption of the agreement on the mutual protection of investment.

"Today we have taken a number of steps that would allow us to expand cooperation including in the upcoming launch of the North-South International Transport Corridor as well as establishment of the Chennai Vladivostok route and the cooperation on the expansion of the Northern Sea Route which is a very promising area," Lavrov said.

"We have also agreed to expand the legal framework of our relationship in particular to accelerate the adoption of the agreement on the mutual protection of investment and another important document, namely the upcoming agreement on the free trade area between India and the Eurasian Economic Union," he added. (ANI)