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Swaraj meets Russian counterpart; discusses bilateral ties

Sushma Swaraj

Sushma SwarajDushanbe (Tajikistan): India and Russia today reviewed entire gamut of their bilateral relationship including cooperation in crucial sectors of defence, energy security, trade and investment and agreed to inject fresh vigour in the strategic and time-tested ties.

In a meeting on the sidelines of annual summit of SCO, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov also extensively deliberated on situation in Ukraine, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi later this year.

Issues relating to economic cooperation and energy security besides implementation of various joint projects were deliberated upon thoroughly by Swaraj and Lavrov who hoped that under the new government in India, the relationship will grow further.

Both the leaders felt that there was scope for expansion of ties between the two countries in a range of areas including trade, investment, energy and defence.

Russia may like to go for further deepening of ties with countries like India and China following sanctions against it for supporting the separatists in Ukraine.

President Barack Obama had yesterday said the US and the European Union have decided to “intensify” their coordinated sanctions on Russia in the defence, finance and energy sectors as punishment for its “illegal actions” in Ukraine.

“Entire gamut of bilateral issues were discussed in the meeting. Situations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine were also deliberated upon by the two leaders,” the sources said.

Swaraj and Lavrov discussed about preparations for the annual Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Putin scheduled during the course of the year in which both the sides are likely to announce decisions to broaden the strategic partnership.

Relations with Russia are a key pillar of India’s foreign policy. Annual Summit meeting between the Prime Minister of India and the Russian President is the highest institutionalised dialogue mechanism under the Strategic Partnership between the two countries.

So far 14th Annual Summit meetings have taken place alternatively in India and Russia. The last Summit was held in Moscow on 21 October 2013 when then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the city.


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