Despite the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived on Thursday in India for a two-day official visit. He is expected to discuss the external affairs minister S.Jayasankar on Friday.
After concluding a two-day visit to China, Lavrov came to Delhi. This is the first high-level visit by a Russian leader to India since the Ukraine war has begun.
Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry, tweeted about Lavrov’s arrival in India.
Over the past fortnight, the capital state has witnessed a hustle by foreign leaders. Last week, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi visited India. This week, the Russian foreign minister has attended two multinational meetings held in Afghanistan and envoys from Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. He also held a separate meeting of the “extended troika” with special Afghan deputies from the U.S. and China.
While replying to his questions in New Delhi, the Russian minister stated that U.S. pressure would not affect the business between Russia and India.
“I have no doubt no pressure will affect our partnership. They (U.S.) are forcing others to follow their politics,” he said.
He further said Russia is ready to discuss and achieve mutually acceptable cooperation if India is willing to buy anything from them.
“India is an important country for Russia. We are for the security guarantee of Ukraine. The West has ignored its responsibility. India can support such a process”, he added.
Upon the Russian minister’s visit, prime minister Narendra Modi said India is trying to find cessation in violence and willingness to contribute to the peace efforts to resolve the war. Russia offers precipitous discounts on the direct sale of oil to India following the invasion of Ukraine.
Further discussions have been held, as both sides are enthusiastic about having a rouble-rupee arrangement for bilateral trade. He commented on the good deals of the relationship between the nations by saying, “I believe that Indian foreign policies are characterized by independence & the concentration on real national legitimate interests. The same policy is based in the Russian Federation and this makes us, as big countries, good friends & loyal partners.”
He also extended support to our security challenges.
“Talks are characterized by relations we developed with India for many decades. Relations are strategic partnerships. This was the basis on which we’ve been promoting our cooperation in all areas,” he added.
Till now, India neutralized its stand on war by not criticizing Russia openly. Amidst the Invasion of Ukraine, India was restrained from voting at the U.N. on resolutions condemning Russia. For the same reason, Sergey Lavrov appreciates India’s stance on disputes.
Following the conflicts, many countries ban business with Russia, including the U.S., U.K., and Canada. The U.S. declared consequences to other nations for tying with Russia. Meanwhile, India is flourishing old relationships to invest and borrow in the domestic market.
“Different countries will have their own relationship with the Russian Federation. It’s a fact of history. It’s a fact of geography. That is not something that we are seeking to change,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price commented on India-Russia ties during a press briefing.