EAM Jaishankar discusses nuclear, space and defense cooperation with his Russian counterpart


India, he said, has always viewed its relations with Russia as a contribution to global peace, security and stability.

The “tried and trusted” relationship between Moscow and India remains very strong and continues to develop, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said on Friday as he held “productive” talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei. Lavrov to intensify bilateral cooperation on space, energy and defense sectors.

Mr. Jaishankar, who is in Moscow for a three-day visit, also addressed global and regional issues such as the situation in Afghanistan, Iran and Syria.

He said the two leaders “have made good progress” in preparations for the annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin later this year.

“I would say the talks were as always very warm, comfortable, comprehensive and productive,” Jaishankar said.

Read also: “The aspect of legitimacy” of who should rule Afghanistan should not be ignored, according to Jaishankar

He said his talks with Lavrov showed that “despite the fact that so much is changing in our world both before and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, our tried and trusted relationship is not not just in place. but remains very strong, continues to grow. Mr Jaishanakar expressed his gratitude for the support India received from Russia during the second wave of the Covid pandemic this year.

India, he said, has always viewed its relations with Russia as a contribution to global peace, security and stability.

“I think what makes our collaboration so natural and comfortable is our belief in a multipolar world order. We see this as a reflection of a very natural and inevitable process of evolution of interstate relations in the 21st century, ”he added.

He said his bilateral talks with Lavrov focused on reviewing progress in different dimensions of their far-reaching cooperation.

“We have actually made very good progress even though for the past year much of this has been done through virtual contacts and I can assure you that when the annual bilateral summit takes place this year, the development , the progress of our cooperation will be very much exposed to all of you.

“A new dimension that has been added to our relationship of course is the agreement to hold the 2 + 2 Dialogue of Foreign and Defense Ministers. We thought we should do it at some point for mutual convenience this year. Otherwise, I can say that we are very satisfied with the overall development of our relations, ”he said.

Much of our cooperation is focused on the nuclear, space, energy and defense sectors, he said.

“The Kudankulam nuclear power plant project is on track and you have heard Foreign Minister Lavrov tell you that the first concrete pour of Unit 5 has taken place. Space again has both practical and I would say symbolic importance for our relationship, ”Jaishankar said.

Russia was India’s “original and strongest partner” in the space sector, he said.

“Energy cooperation between us has grown very significantly over the past few years, reflecting both potential new investments and long-term commitments we have made in the field of oil and gas,” said Mr. Jaishankar.

“Our military-technical defense cooperation, but I would even say that industrial collaboration is now reinforced by Russian interest in the ‘Make in India’ program, which is very visible.” They also discussed greater inter-regional cooperation, in particular with the Russian Far East region.

“We discussed how we could move this forward, there are some agreements that need to be signed, I think we’ve made some progress there. We discussed connectivity, in particular the North-South Corridor … as well as the Chennai-Vladivostok Eastern Sea Corridor.

He shared with Lavrov India’s plan and ideas when the country assumes the presidency of the Security Council in August.

“We obviously appreciate the Russian participation and cooperation. … We have worked in a very cooperative and positive manner, so that the strength of our strategic partnership is expressed today when it comes to deliberations at the UN, ”he said.

The two leaders also spoke of their cooperation in the BRICS and the RIC.

India currently chairs the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) as well as the RIC (Russia, India and China).

“We are joint members of the G-20, ASEAN-led forums, SCO and CICA. We have a meeting of SCO foreign ministers coming up very soon, ”he said.

They also discussed the situation in Afghanistan, where Taliban militants have taken dozens of districts in recent weeks and are now believed to control about a third of the country, before the complete withdrawal of US and Western troops from the war-torn country.

“The situation in Afghanistan has caught our attention because it has a direct implication for regional security. We believe that the immediate need of the day is really a reduction in violence and if we are to see peace in Afghanistan and around Afghanistan, ”Jaishankar said.

“It is important that India and Russia work together and ensure that most of the progress we have seen in economic, social and democratic terms is sustained. We are both committed to an independent, sovereign, united and democratic Afghanistan, ”he added.

They also discussed the situation in Syria, the Iranian question and Libya.

“We both have long-standing interests in the region. We believe that peace and stability in such a sensitive region is very important for the global interest, ”he said.

Mr. Jaishankar also shared his perspective on the Indo-Pacific, a region that has seen aggressive behavior from China.

“Of course, due to our greater geopolitical compatibility with Russia, we consider a more active Russian presence and participation in the region to be very, very important,” he said.

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