‘Sky is limit for expansion of Russia-India Partnership’: Russian envoy to India
India and Russia are planning for annual summit and the first two plus two ministerial meeting later this year
Russia and India are ramping up preparation for the annual summit between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as the first '2+2' ministerial meeting, Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev said on Wednesday.
He also said that sky is the limit for the expansion of Russia-India strategic partnership.
In a press conference, the Russian envoy said the details of the possible visit of President Vladimir Putin to India for the summit are being discussed between the two countries. However, the epidemiological situation will be a very important factor, he added.
The next big bilateral events planned later this year, he said included, “trade and economic as well defence intergovernmental commissions, the first 2+2 ministerial meeting and, of course, the summit – undoubtedly.”
“It will be a new huge cornerstone of the special and privileged strategic partnership, which is really unique,” he added.
“At the same time our leaders are planning to jointly participate in BRICS – under the Indian presidency – and the SCO summits in September as well as G20 summit in October,” the Russian Ambassador to India noted.
Highlighting the ‘very successful visit’ of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to Moscow on July 7-9, he stated that the visit was a very timely follow-up of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s trip to New Delhi on April 6.
During S Jaishankar’s visit, the Russian envoy said the two sides reiterated an absolutely shared approach to continue extending the Russian-Indian multidimensional strategic partnership bilaterally and multilaterally, for which sky is the limit.
“It demonstrated how much attention both sides were paying to satisfy the common desire to maintain strong dynamics of bilateral high level contacts, which was especially important in view of preparation for the next big events planned later this year,” the Russian Ambassador added.
He said S Jaishankar had meetings with Foreign Minister Lavrov, Deputy Prime-Minister Yuri Borisov and Chairman of the International Affairs Committee in the State Duma (lower house of Parliament) Leonid Slutsky.
Overall discussions in these meetings were comprehensive and forward-looking, based on mutual trust, respect, understanding and support, the Russian envoy said.
“The Ministers had a detailed and pragmatic conversation on the issues of regional stability and security in Eurasia, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific,” Russian envoy further added.
“The progress and new developments in key areas – atomic and hydrocarbon energy, defence, space, industry, trade, finance, connectivity, innovations and technology sharing, healthcare, education – along with incredible mutual interest to promote just and equal multi-polarity – naturally make us major global partners,” Kudashev said.
“We are very successful in supporting the international efforts to fight against COVID-19,” he stated.
“It’s a matter of pride that Sputnik V vaccine being part of the Indian vaccination campaign is gradually increasing its partnerships here,” the Russian envoy said.
“The launch of ‘Sputnik Light’ vaccine in India is also expected soon. We are committed to continue discussion on mutual recognition of vaccination certificates,” he informed.
“A lot of attention was paid to promote further coordination in the UNSC, which India will be chairing in August,” Kudashev argued.
“We welcome the Indian desire to increase its involvement in the Arctic Council under the current Russian presidency. We are looking forward to the next RIC ministerial to be held by India,” he submitted.
On Afghanistan, he said, “Clearly, the situation in Afghanistan was dominating. Both we are supportive of intra-Afghan talks based on commitments of the parties to ensure that the future government is inclusive.”
“It’s critically important to support Afghans in making their country independent, sovereign, united and democratic,” Kudashev maintained.
“After the Western troops started their speedy withdrawal, regional efforts are becoming even more important,” he added.
“As you know, these days Tajikistan is holding the SCO ministerial as well as minister-level SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group meetings. The international connectivity conference is taking place in Uzbekistan,” the Russian envoy stated.
“These events represent very useful opportunities. For sure, we will also maintain very close consultations in these and other formats as well as bilaterally in order to find ways on how we could react to the current and future developments, which are causing an increasing concern,” he added.