MOSCOW: India and Russia said on Friday that it is important for the two countries to work together for Afghanistan's peace, and stability and security in the region. Following his two-day trip to Russia, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a joint press conference in Moscow said that the talks were as always very warm, comfortable, comprehensive and productive. The Russian Foreign Minister was in Delhi in April this year.
As per a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, Jaishankar also had a "very good meeting" with Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov on Thursday.
In the press conference, Jaishankar said, "The situation in Afghanistan occupied a lot of 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. If we have to see peace within Afghanistan and around Afghanistan, it's important for India and Russia to work together and ensure that much of the progress that we've seen in economic, social and democratic terms are maintained. We are both committed to an independent, sovereign, united and democratic Afghanistan." The two sides also talked about the developments in Syria, Iran and Libya. Sharing India's view-point on the Indo-Pacific, Jaishankar said, "We support cooperation that reflects the multi-polar and rebalanced character of global politics. We are very much committed to the centrality and unity of the ASEAN and we believe that the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative which we tabled at the East-Asia Summit is very important for the larger region. Because of our larger geo-political compatibility with Russia, we see a more active Russian presence and participation in the region as something very very important."
He said despite the fact that so many things are changing in the world as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the time-tested and trust-based relationship between India and Russia is very much not just in place, but remains very strong, and continues to grow.
Expressing gratitude for the Russian support during the second wave of the Covid pandemic this year, Jaishankar said, "India has always seen its relationship with Russia as a contribution to global peace, security and stability. A lot of the bilateral cooperation between India and Russia is focused on the nuclear, space, energy and defence sectors, but the two countries have now moved beyond the established areas with their discussion on greater inter regional cooperation particularly with the Russian far east. Jaishankar said the two sides made some progress with respect to the connectivity, especially the North South Corridor and the Chennai-Vladivostok Eastern Maritime Corridor.
India is poised to hold the Presidency of the UN Security Council in August. The minister shared with his counterpart Lavrov India's plans and ideas for the month. India is currently the chair of the BRICS and also of the RIC. The two countries have membership of G-20, ASEAN led fora, SCO and CICA. (IANS)