Jaishankar Holds Talks with Russian Counterpart Sergey Lavrov in South Africa

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Last Updated: June 02, 2023, 00:27 IST

On May 4, Jaishankar and Lavrov met on the sidelines of a conclave of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the SCO and carried out a comprehensive review of India-Russia ties. (Image: EAM Jaishankar Twitter)

On May 4, Jaishankar and Lavrov met on the sidelines of a conclave of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the SCO and carried out a comprehensive review of India-Russia ties. (Image: EAM Jaishankar Twitter)

Jaishankar, who is here to participate in a conclave of five-nation grouping BRICS, met Lavrov on the sidelines of the summit

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and discussed issues of bilateral and global interests – the second meeting between the two leaders within a month.

Jaishankar, who is here to participate in a conclave of five-nation grouping BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa), met Lavrov on the sidelines of the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

“Good to meet FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia in Cape Town this morning on BRICS FMM sidelines. Our discussions covered bilateral matters, BRICS, G20 and SCO,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.

India will hold the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and G-20 summits in July and September respectively.

Citing a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the state-owned TASS news agency said Lavrov and Jaishankar have given high marks to the dynamics of cooperation in the important spheres of the special and privileged partnership of the two countries.

“The ministers gave a high appraisal of the cooperation dynamics on the important directions of the special and privileged partnership of our countries. Particular attention was given to expanding dialogue at the SCO, BRICS and the G20,” it said.

The statement noted that during the meeting, the pertinent issues of the bilateral agenda were discussed as well as international and regional issues.

“The mutual intent was confirmed to continue following the policy of building a fair multipolar system of transnational ties including preventing and hindering the use of neocolonial practices,” it added.

On May 4, Jaishankar and Lavrov met on the sidelines of a conclave of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the SCO and carried out a comprehensive review of India-Russia ‘special and privileged strategic partnership’ in the backdrop of Moscow’s increasingly frosty relations with the West over the Ukraine crisis.

A Russian readout of Jaishankar-Lavrov talks at the time said the two sides agreed to continue working towards building a “fair multipolar system of interstate relations”.

India has been pressing Russia to urgently address the trade imbalance that has been in favour of Moscow.

India’s trade deficit with Russia jumped significantly in the last few months after it procured significant volumes of discounted crude oil from that country in the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis.

India’s economic engagement with Russia has been on a major upswing in the last one year, largely due to its procurement of discounted Russian oil.

India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been pushing for resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.

Russia has been firmly supporting India’s SCO presidency as well.

On Wednesday, Jaishankar said these are still ”early days” for conflict resolution between Ukraine and Russia as presently, the focus is on problems such as a grain corridor, nuclear issues and matters related to the exchange of prisoners of war.

The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) brings together five of the largest developing countries of the world, representing 41 per cent of the global population, 24 per cent of the global GDP and 16 per cent of the global trade.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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