India and Russia held “a confidential exchange of views” in Goa on Thursday to drive forward the dynamics of cooperation in key areas of the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between both countries.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who held a bilateral on the sidelines of the ongoing meeting of Foreign Ministers of the member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), discussed ways to strengthen coordination activities between New Delhi and Moscow.
The interaction becomes more significant as it took place ahead of the SCO Council of Heads of State (CHS) Summit which is scheduled to be held on July 3-4 in the Indian capital and is expected to witness an in-person participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“A confidential exchange of views took place on the main issues of bilateral relations, including the schedule of upcoming contacts, as well as topical issues on the global and regional agenda,” said the Russian Foreign Ministry in a statement after the Jaishankar-Lavrov meeting.
The parties also agreed to continue following the course of building a fair multipolar system of interstate relations besides developing common approaches within the framework of interaction at the most important international platforms – the SCO, BRICS, the UN, and the G20.
“Comprehensive review of our bilateral, global and multilateral cooperation with FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia. Appreciated Russia’s support for India’s SCO presidency. Also discussed issues pertaining to G20 and BRICS,” tweeted EAM Jaishankar.
During bilateral talks on the sidelines of the SCO meet, Jaishankar asked Lavrov if he had an opportunity to get some rest and a suntan during his visit to Goa, to which Lavrov replied that he had about one hour and half for that, but asked him not to tell anybody about it. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/XMa5QG5Wyt
— Koustuv 🇮🇳 🧭 (@srdmk01) May 4, 2023
This is Lavrov’s second visit to India in as many months. He was in New Delhi in March to attend the G20 Ministerial Council meeting which brought together foreign ministers of the world’s leading economies.
Both ministers have been discussing issues concerning trade and investment, transport and logistics cooperation, the use of national currencies in mutual settlements, and promising projects in the energy sector.
They have also regularly exchanged assessments of topical international issues, including interaction under the Indian chairmanship of the SCO and the G20, as well as the formation of security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region, the state of affairs in Afghanistan, and the situation in Ukraine.
Russia continues to back India as a permanent member in a reformed United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
As Jaishankar and Lavrov met in Goa, MEA Secretary (West) Sanjay Verma met Russia’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Vershinin in Moscow on Wednesday to hold bilateral consultations on UN-related issues.
Verma was in the Russian capital to co-chair the 12th meeting of the India-Russia Working Group on countering terrorism and India-Russia bilateral consultations on UN and multilateral issues.
The first meeting stressed the importance of further development of international cooperation on the issues of combating the use of modern technologies for terrorist purposes, the spread of terrorist and extremist ideology, as well as to curb the financing and other material support of terrorism.