Jaishankar reviews ties with US, Russia ahead of talks

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Jaishankar tweeted on Tuesday that he had a broad-ranging conversation on Monday night with US secretary of state Antony Blinken that covered “current bilateral issues, Indo-Pacific and pressing global matters,” reports Asian Lite News

External affairs minister S Jaishankar has reviewed bilateral relations with his American and Russian counterparts this week ahead of planned interactions with both countries in a wide range of areas with both countries.

Jaishankar tweeted on Tuesday that he had a broad-ranging conversation on Monday night with US secretary of state Antony Blinken that covered “current bilateral issues, Indo-Pacific and pressing global matters”.

The conversation came ahead of a planned 2+2 meeting of the Indian and US defence and foreign ministers. The meeting was initially slotted for last November but was put off for a variety of reasons. The dialogue will help guide cooperation in several key areas, including the Indo-Pacific and collaboration on defence research and manufacturing.

Jaishankar said in another tweet that he had spoken to Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday evening and discussed the follow-up to the annual summit and 2+2 meeting, which were both held in New Delhi on December 6. “Agreed to remain in regular touch,” he added.

A statement issued by the Russian embassy said that during the phone conversation, which was initiated by the Indian side, Lavrov and Jaishankar discussed “practical issues of bilateral cooperation” as a follow-up to the results of the India- Russia Summit.

The two ministers also “confirmed the intention to consistently strengthen relations of the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two states in the spheres of economy and investments, nuclear energy, space, high technologies and healthcare”, the statement said.

They discussed preparations for upcoming high-level contacts, including a meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation, and other meetings between the leadership of the two foreign ministries.

Jaishankar and Lavrov also agreed on steps to expand interaction in regional and international affairs, including cooperation at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (Brics) grouping, the Russia-India-China (RIC) grouping, the UN and the UN Security Council.

On the completion of five decades of the 1971 Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation and two decades of Declaration on Strategic Partnership, India, on December 6, 2021, organised the 21st India-Russia annual summit in New Delhi which was jointly chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President Vladimir Putin.

Back-to-back meetings of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation and the first 2+2 Dialogue of Foreign and Defense Ministers of India and Russia were also held in New Delhi on the same day.

In the annual summit and 2+2 meeting, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia. They underscored that as major powers with common responsibilities, this important relationship continues to be an anchor of global peace and stability.

India and Russia positively assessed their multi-faceted relations that span various areas of cooperation including political and strategic, economy, energy, military and security, science and technology, culture and humanitarian cooperation, and noted that while the traditional areas of cooperation are being further strengthened, new drivers of growth have led to diversification and expansion of bilateral cooperation.

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