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Jaishankar in Moscow for Five Days, Meets with Lavrov and Putin

India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is in Moscow for five days of meetings, over Dec. 25-29. Today’s meetings included an extensive discussion with his host, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and then with President Vladimir Putin this evening. He also met with the Indian diaspora in Moscow and co-chaired, together with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov, the Russia-India Intergovernmental Commission for Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation.

Today’s meeting with Lavrov was broad ranging, in which the two discussed bilateral ties, that Lavrov described as “trust-based,” and “rooted in mutual respect and immune to momentary fluctuations.” Dr. Jaishankar said bilateral ties are of a “historic” nature and said that Russia is a “valued and time-tested” partner for India. Politics and the global order have to change, he said, and Russia is a strong advocate of a multipolar world order. Lavrov stressed that bilateral ties are strengthened by the fact that the two countries maintain similar stances at the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS. Both nations want “an open and fair international system.”

The Hindureported that a number of agreements were signed, including one regarding cooperation on the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC). During their [joint press conference]](">( after their meeting, Jaishankar emphasized that participation in the INSTC is a top priority for India. Progress was also made on resuming and expediting talks on the India-Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA) agreement during the second half of 2024. Agreements were also signed on the production of modern weaponry and two amendments to advance in the implementation of the Kudankulam nuclear power projects in India.

Other areas of cooperation include manned space programs, rocket engine manufacturing and satellite navigation systems. They spoke at length about regional and international affairs, including the Asia-Pacific region, the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan, among others. Lavrov expressed Russia’s support for India seeking a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and Jaishankar offered his support for Russia’s upcoming chairmanship of the BRICS.

During his meeting with President Putin, the Russian leader commented on how well bilateral trade is going, particularly in the energy field, but pointed out that it’s not limited to that, as they are also collaborating in high-tech areas. And despite turbulence in the world, he added, relations with India and the Indian people are “making steady headway.” He told Jaishankar that he would provide him with a thorough briefing on the Ukrainian situation to pass on to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and also extended an invitation to Modi to visit Russia. Jaishankar reported that Modi had sent a personal letter to Putin expressing his thoughts about the state of bilateral cooperation, and that he would look forward to visiting Russia in the coming year. He also briefed Putin on discussion at the meetings of the previous two days.