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S Jaishankar meets Sergey Lavrov to further special partnership amid LAC tensions

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar is understood to have discussed ongoing tensions along LAC among other issues with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on the eve of his meeting with Chinese FM Wang Yi.

“Pleasure to meet FM Sergey Lavrov, this time in person. Excellent talks that reflect our Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership. Value our exchanges on the international situation,” Jaishankar tweeted on Wednesday night following his meeting with Lavrov, hosts for SCO Foreign Ministers meet.

The two Ministers are understood to have discussed several aspects of strategic partnership in the run-up to the annual summit that would witness agreements across sectors including defence, connectivity, space and nuclear energy.

This was Jaishankar’s second visit to Moscow since 2019 and the two last met in Delhi this January on the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue. Over the last few months the two Ministers have interacted number of times through virtual medium.

Among international issues situation in Afghanistan, West Asia and South Asia are understood to have figured. Russian role could be critical in ending impasse along the LAC as Moscow has been engaged in backchannel diplomacy to defuse tensions.

Moscow has also assured critical defence supplies during the time of crisis and considering India’s request to expedite supply of S-400 missile defence system.

Apart from the traditional pillars, India and Russia working together to explore potential areas of cooperation in areas like agriculture, coking coal, pharma & health sector, digital & IT sectors, exchange of skilled manpower, cooperation between the regions including in the Far East, cooperation in the Arctic, logistics and connectivity. India has launched Act Far East policy and planning to expand its footprints in the resource rich Far-East Russia. Maritime connectivity and partnership are among new areas of focus with both Delhi and Moscow seeking to build a Indo-Pacific cooperation.

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