India's foreign secretary Harsh Shringla to visit Russia next week

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
NEW DELHI Published: Feb 11, 2021, 10:01 PM(IST)

India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla Photograph:( Facebook )

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PM Modi had visited Russia's Vladivostok in 2019 for the summit, while 2018 saw the visit of President Putin visiting Delhi for the annual summit.

India's foreign secretary Harsh Shringla will be visiting Russia next week. The visit will be for a couple of days and will see a number of bilateral meetings. The visit comes even as both sides have been engaged at multiple levels, from cooperation against covid pandemic to defense. 

The visit, in the works for some time, will be the first foreign visit of the top Indian diplomat this year. The focus will be on the India-Russia annual summit this year, with Russian President Vladimir Putin's India visit. Russia and India have an annual bilateral summit level mechanism that alternates between the 2 countries. PM Modi had visited Russia's Vladivostok in 2019 for the summit, while 2018 saw the visit of President Putin visiting Delhi for the annual summit. Last year, the summit could not take place due to the covid pandemic. Russia and Japan are the only 2 countries with which India has this mechanism. 

A multilateral focus will also be there since India and Russia are part of the BRICS and New Delhi being the chair of the grouping this year.  Last year saw India's defense minister visiting Moscow 2 times, first for the 75th anniversary of victory day and then for the Shanghai cooperation organization or SCO defense minister. The Indian external affairs minister Dr. S Jaishankar visited the country too for the SCO FMs meet.

Russia will be delivering the S400 missile system by the end of this year, in what will be a significant defense-related development between New Delhi and Moscow. The $5 billion deal was signed in October 2018 by both countries. While this is the first visit of FS this year, last year saw him traveling to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives, Nepal, France, Germany, and UK amid the covid pandemic.

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