Amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited Moscow on Monday for a bilateral friendship visit.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; Most of the bilateral meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, including with Deputy Prime Minister and Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov. A meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin has yet to be revealed, but it cannot be ruled out.
Jaishankar’s visit, days ahead of the G-20 summit scheduled to be held in Bali from November 15-16, assumes significance. It will be the first time that Western leaders, including Putin and US President Joe Biden, will be in the same room since the war in Ukraine.
Jaishankar’s visit is seen as a pivotal moment in which Delhi is tapped as a potential negotiator between the two sides. He last visited Moscow in July 2021.
India is known to have quietly intervened in the past few months. In July, India weighed in on grain exports from Black Sea ports.
Much of this message has been sent quietly, and Delhi has positioned itself as a credible player on both sides. But it doesn’t always work.
In a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered help in peace talks, The Washington Post reported. But Zelenskyy reportedly rejected the offer.
According to a statement released by Zelensky’s office, “Zelensky has said that he will not negotiate with Ukraine and Putin, but that Ukraine is committed to a peaceful solution through dialogue.” The statement noted that Russia had deliberately undermined efforts at dialogue.
However, as winter approaches in the conflict zone, both sides are expected to favor a ceasefire early next year when they can regroup and resume the conflict. It is seen by many as a good prospect for a ceasefire, with Delhi possibly brokering a deal between the two sides.
For Delhi, Bilateral relations are key. It is winter for the first time in three years as Russia’s military supply lines are strained by the eight-month war in Ukraine, while Indian and Chinese troops are locked in a standoff on the eastern border of Ladakh.
It is the most important pillar of the relationship for India, which depends on Russia for its defense support.
Energy ties as Russia becomes India’s biggest crude importer by October 2022 as refiners step up purchases of offshore oil at discounted prices It added a new dimension to relations with Moscow that have not gone down well with Ukraine and its Western partners.
Jaishankar’s visit is expected to look at this aspect well, trade, economy scientific method Officials said this was part of his conversation with Manturov, an official of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Trade Commission on Technological and Cultural Cooperation. TEC
“We will clearly discuss issues related to bilateral economic cooperation in various fields,” MEA official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday ahead of the visit.
What is clear is that it is Modi’s turn to visit Russia this year and Jaishankar will be there to lay the groundwork if it is a possible visit next month.
During Jaishankar’s visit, Putin was unable to understand Modi and India. A week after praising Modi, he praised India by calling its citizens “talented” and “driven”.