Ukraine war: Russian foreign minister Lavrov to visit India on March 31

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi Updated: Mar 29, 2022, 12:25 AM(IST)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov  Photograph:( AFP )

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The Russian foreign minister will be in Delhi on a day when UK's foreign secretary Elizabeth Truss will be in the Indian capital to hold talks with EAM Jaishankar.

Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov will be in Delhi from March 31 to April 1.

The Russian foreign minister will hold talks with EAM Jaishankar on April 1 which will be the main day of his engagement in the Indian capital. On the agenda will be many things, including trading under the rupee-ruble mechanism that the Indian finance ministry is looking into amid Western sanctions on Moscow.

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The Russian foreign minister will be in Delhi on a day when UK's foreign secretary Elizabeth Truss will be in the Indian capital to hold talks with EAM Jaishankar.

The ministry of external affairs in a statement said, "Truss will hold bilateral consultations with external affairs minister, Dr S. Jaishankar on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest." 

Truss will also participate in the inaugural edition of the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum, a track 1.5 dialogue between the two countries hosted by the Indian Council of World Affairs and Policy Exchange, UK.

Lavrov's visit will be the first high-level visit by a Russian official to India since February 24 when the invasion began. The invasion has changed the global geopolitical calculus with the West and Russia at loggerheads.

New Delhi has been engaged by both sides amid the war even as it has been able to display its strategic autonomy. At the United Nations, India abstained from voting on the Ukraine-Russia resolutions on the West-backed resolutions or more recently on the Russia-backed resolution on Ukraine even as it has been calling for direct talks between Moscow and Kyiv.

EAM Jaishankar in the Parliament said, "We have expressed deep concern at the worsening situation and called for an immediate cessation of violence and end to all hostilities."

Both Indian and Russian foreign ministers had spoken to each other on February 24 and since then there has been Russian outreach to Delhi in many ways, including Russian FM Lavrov meeting envoys of BRICS countries including Indian envoy Pavan Kapoor.

Last week, Russian deputy foreign minister Andrei Rudenko had met the Indian envoy to Russia Kapoor to brief​ him on the situation in Ukraine. Rudenko has been part of the Russian delegation that held talks with the Ukraine side.

Later this year PM Modi is expected to travel to Russia for the annual India-Russia summit.

Russian President Putin had travelled to Delhi on December 6 for the annual summit. The second 2+2 foreign and defence ministers' meet will also take place in Russia this year. India's external affairs minister and defence minister Rajnath Singh will be travelling to Russia for the dialogue. The Russian foreign minister's expected travel comes even as India and US will be holding 2+2 foreign and defence ministers meet in the second week of April.
 

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