New Delhi: External Affairs minister S Jaishankar, who is on a Moscow visit, has called for ensuring “consistent sensitivity” to the “interests of a critical strategic partner”. The comment is significant in the backdrop of the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Islamabad earlier this year. Lavrov visited Pakistan from India which was the first visit by a Russian FM in nine years to the country.
EAM speaking at Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations said, “A key concern even while widening options is to ensure consistent sensitivity to the interests of a critical strategic partner. Indeed, it is this deep sense of consideration for each other that has been the formula of our ties. Mutual interest mandates that this continues to be so between India and Russia.”
The statements are also significant when it comes to India, Russia, China ties. While Moscow shares close ties with both Delhi and Beijing, but both India and China don’t have a positive relationship, due to the provocative behavior of the latter. Russia is also seen dragging its feet on India-backed Indo pacific vision which is seen by China as an attempt to encircle it.
On the Indo-Pacific, Jaishankar said, “That is certainly the case with the Indo-Pacific, whose disconnection was an outcome of a certain moment of history”. He explained, “For a nation like India that now sees much of its trade eastwards, we must look beyond such anachronisms. Both our interests and our reach today extend well into the Pacific. Our major partners are located there, and indeed, cooperation with the Russian Far East is one notable example.”
Both countries have a multidimensional relationship, from trade to defense. India is actively engaging in the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union for a trade agreement and will get the first units of S400 by the end of this year.
Lauding Russia as a “dependable defense partner of India”, EAM said, “enormous experience of past cooperation is today being applied to a more contemporary requirement, including the Make in India programme.”
EAM will be holding talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, today (July 9). This is the second in-person meeting between the two this year. Earlier this year, Lavrov had visited India. Russian President Vladimir Putin will be visiting India later this year for the annual India-Russia summit.