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Putin spotlights India’s special importance by holding separate talks with NSA Doval

Russian President Vladimir Putin underscored India’s special importance by holding separate talks with NSA Ajit Doval

In a special gesture, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a separate one -hour meeting with visiting National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on the sidelines of a regional security conference on Afghanistan earlier this week.

The meeting assumes importance amid growing rift between Moscow and the West on the Ukraine crisis, which is having a global cascading impact. Exercising strategic autonomy, India has taken a neutral position on the situation in crisis.

Hindustan Times is reporting that President Putin spoke at length on the global and regional security environment and ways to further strengthen  traditional India-Russia ties. The two sides agreed to implement the special and privileged relationship between India and Russia during the highly classified meeting.

President Putin sought a separate second meeting with Doval, following an earlier meeting when the NSAs of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.  NSA Doval also had an exclusive bilateral exchange with President Putin’s right-hand man and Secretary of Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev. Both Putin and Patrushev have known NSA Doval from the past with the Russian NSA in touch with the Indian national security official on international and national security matters. It is not clear whether Doval was carrying a message for PM Modi from President Putin.

All participants at the 5th Regional Dialogue on Afghanistan agreed to counter terror threats radiating from the Af-Pak region. While India has made it clear that it would do all it can to support Kabul with an inclusive and representative dispensation in interest of Afghan society, the participants agreed to share real intelligence on terror groups such as the Islamic State of Khorasan Province, and Pakistan headquartered Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba. It was decided that all terror groups and terrorists designated by the 1267 UNSC committee should be denied sanctuary or shelter to operate from Afghanistan.

During his address at the conference, NSA Doval had asserted on Wednesday that India will never abandon the people of Afghanistan and put on record New Delhi’s inclusive and generous support touching all sections of the strife-torn nation.

Speaking in Moscow at the fifth regional dialogue on Afghanistan, NSA Doval pointed out that India has so far delivered 40,000 MT of wheat, 60 tons of medicines, 500,000 Covid vaccines, winter clothing and 28 tons of disaster relief.

He spotlighted that terrorism has become a major threat in the region. Dealing with Daesh and terror outfits like LeT and JeM requires intensified intelligence and security cooperation between respective States and its agencies.

Also Read:  NSA Doval backs people of Afghanistan, urges Taliban to eliminate terror sanctuaries