India, Russia Hold First-Ever 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the newly established 2+2 ministerial dialogue will turn into an efficient platform to talk about both regional and international issues, reports Asian Lite News

India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that we hope that Russia will remain a major partner for India in challenging circumstances and lead us towards self-reliance.

During the first-ever 2+2 interministerial dialogue, Rajnath Singh said, “we hope that Russia will remain a major partner for India in these challenging circumstances. From the Ministry of Defense, we have urged our greater military-technical collaboration, advanced research, co-development and co-production of defence equipment, leading to the self-reliance of India.”

The defence engagements between India and Russia have progressed in an unprecedented manner in recent times, he added.

Recalling his visit to Moscow, Rajnath said, “I have had the honour of visiting Moscow twice and Dushanbe once to participate in the celebration for a victory in the Great Patriotic War and in two rounds of SCO defence ministers meetings.”

“Our officers and troops not only marched shoulder to shoulder with the Russian troops in honour of these fallen in a second world war, but also participated in a substantial manner in major exercises and activities undertaken at Russia’s initiatives,” he added.

Noting that India is optimistic about Russia’s cooperation in all the domains, Defence Minister further said that “we proposed greater engagements in Central Asia and the Indian Ocean region. India is a continuation of the vast Eurasian landmass and at the same time central in the enormous Indian Ocean region.”

Earlier, Rajnath Singh in his opening remarks during a meeting with Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Shoigu underlined the importance of the time-tested relations between India and Russia.

Defence Minister said that defence cooperation is one of the most important pillars of the bilateral partnership and thanked Russia for its strong support.

‘An efficient platform’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday said that the newly established 2+2 ministerial dialogue will turn into an efficient platform to talk about both regional and international issues.

During the first-ever 2+2 ministerial dialogue, Lavrov said, “Both Russia and India have a similar worldview of a more polycentric, more multipolar, more equitable world order. We advocate similar or identical positions on the most important political and military issues.”

Russian Foreign Minister further said that he is confident that the 2+2 mechanism is going to turn into an efficient dialogue platform to talk about a wide range of topics.

“I’m confident that the new mechanism is going to turn into an efficient dialogue platform to talk about a wide range of regional and international topics a little further deepening our traditional, mutual understanding. It’ll help reinforce our specially privileged strategic partnership between our countries,” he said.

“We speak in favour of international law. We adhere to the principle of non-interference and the domestic affairs of other countries and we have great respect for the cultural and civilizational diversity of our world,” he said.

India and Russia have signed a number of agreements, contracts and protocols covering small arms and military cooperation, Rajnath Singh said on Monday following a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu.

Afghan situation and repercussions for Central Asia

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday said that that the situation in Afghanistan has wider repercussions for the Central Asian region and added that both India and Russia have a common interest in ASEAN centrality.

He said India and Russia will address the emergence of multipolarity and rebalancing. “We look at the consequence of over-centralized globalisation. Long-standing challenges of terrorism, violent extremism remain among newer challenges,” Jaishankar said.

“The situation in Afghanistan has wider repercussions including for Central Asia,” Jaishankar added.

During the discussion, the EAM also said that India and Russia are working to ensure peace, progress and prosperity for the people of both countries.

“We are meeting at a critical juncture in the global geopolitical environment which is in great flux, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jaishankar said.

“As close friends and strategic partners, India and Russia have been working to safeguard our common interests and to ensure peace, progress and prosperity for our people,” he added.

During his remarks, the EAM also stressed the strong and steady ties between India and Russia and said that “Our ties have been close and time-tested, in a world that has changed so much, they have been exceptionally steady”.

“We”ve have an active, dialogue at political levels and also a strong defence partnership over many years,” Jaishankar added.

The EAM also expressed that the meeting has provided India and Russia with a suitable platform to discuss political-military issues of mutual interest.

India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

“Our meeting gives us a suitable platform to discuss political-military issues of mutual interest that are interrelated and cross-cutting,” he said,

Earlier today, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart also signed the agreements for the procurement of 6,01,427 7.63x39mm assault rifles AK-203 through Indo-Russia Rifles Pvt Ltd, under the military-technical cooperation arrangement for 2021-31.

Both countries are expected to sign more than 10 agreements following annual talks between PM Modi and President Putin.

These agreements will be in the fields of space, culture, science and technology, defence etc. (ANI)

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