Foreign Minister S Jaishankar met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow
India and Russia will discuss the overall global situation amid the war in Ukraine as well as specific regional concerns, the government said in a statement today as Foreign Minister S Jaishankar met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow today.
"India strongly reiterates the return to dialogue," Mr Jaishankar said today on the Ukraine-Russia war.
"Where the international situation is concerned, the last few years of the Covid pandemic, financial pressures and trade difficulties; these have taken a toll on the global economy. We are now seeing the consequences of the Ukraine conflict on top of that," Mr Jaishankar said.
"There are also the more perennial issues of terrorism and climate change, both of which have a disruptive impact on progress and prosperity. Our talks will address the overall global situation as well as specific regional concerns," the Foreign Minister said.
India and Russia have been maintaining strong and continuing contacts at various levels. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin met most recently in Samarkand in September.
India has also been buying oil from Russia amid the war in Ukraine, much to the chagrin of the West, which has severed trade ties with Russia.
"India and Russia engage each other in an increasingly multi-polar and re-balanced world. We do so as two polities who have had an exceptionally steady and time-tested relationship," Mr Jaishankar said.
On a question by a reporter regarding India's likely response to calls by the West to cap Russian oil purchases, Mr Jaishankar said there is indeed a stress on the energy markets due to a combination of factors.
"As the third-largest consumer of oil and gas and where incomes are not very high, we need to look for affordable sources, so the India-Russia relationship works to our advantage. We will keep it going," the Foreign Minister said.
Mr Jaishankar's Moscow visit with a huge delegation across economic ministries indicates India and Russia will expand trade in a big way. This also stabilises Russia economically and gives India cheap commodities - fuel and fertiliser.
By helping to prop up Russia economically, India appears to be doing its part to ensure that Russia has an economic lifeline and is not pushed into a corner as it is presently in Ukraine. This may pave the way for India having a larger role in the future towards any resolution in this crisis.