Jaishankar in Russia to discuss ways of enhancing bilateral ties


MOSCOW | SEPT 10, 2020 (PTI): 

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said he held "excellent talks" with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during which they discussed bilateral strategic ties and exchanged views on the international situation.

Jaishankar is here on a four-day visit to Russia to attend a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

"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 after talks with his Russian counterpart on the sidelines of the SCO meeting.

The meeting could not be held earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"We highly appreciate an opportunity to discuss the development of Russia-India strategic partnership in all areas: bilateral relations, cooperation within the frameworks of SCO, BRICS, UN," Lavrov was quoted as saying by the Embassy of Russia in India.

Last week, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met with his Russian counterpart Gen. Sergey Shoigu in Moscow during which he appreciated the steadfast support provided by Russia in response to the country's defence and security needs.

Singh, who was on a three-day visit to Russia to attend a crucial meeting of the SCO, pressed for expediting supply of a number of weapons systems, ammunition and spares to India by Russia under contracts which were concluded earlier.

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Earlier in the day, Jaishankar held separate bilateral meetings with his Kyrgyz and Tajik counterparts here and discussed ways to boost India's strategic partnership with the two Central Asian countries.

"A fruitful meeting with FM Chingiz Aidarbekov of Kyrgyz Republic on SCO sidelines," Jaishankar tweeted after his first bilateral meeting of the day.

The two leaders discussed issues of bilateral and regional interest.

"Agreed to further enhance our strategic partnership in all spheres," Jaishankar wrote.

Jaishankar thanked Aidarbekov for the support in facilitating the return of Indian nationals from the Central Asian country. Air India operated several flights under Vande Bharat Mission to evacuate its nationals stranded in other nations due to lockdown.

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About 4,500 Indian students are studying medicine in various medical institutions in Kyrgyzstan. A few businessmen are engaged in trade and services in Kyrgyzstan, according to the Indian Embassy in Bishkek.

Jaishankar later said he held a warm meeting with Tajik counterpart Sirojiddin Muhriddin.

"Pleased with our growing bilateral and regional cooperation. Highly value this strategic partnership," Jaishankar tweeted.