National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has met his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev on the sidelines of the SCO meeting in Tajikistan during which they discussed plans for the Russia-India interaction in the security sphere and cooperation among the security and law-enforcement agencies, according to a media report. The two leaders also exchanged their opinions on the evolving situation in Afghanistan and the Asia-Pacific region during the meeting, Russian news agency TASS reported on Tuesday.
Doval is in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting of national security chiefs. Patrushev, the Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, and Doval discussed in detail “further plans of the Russia-India interaction in the security sphere, cooperation among the security and law-enforcement agencies," the report quoted Patrushev’s office as saying.
Tajikistan, the current president of the SCO, is hosting the meeting of the top national security officials of the eight-nation grouping on June 23 and 24. According to the press service of the Russian Security Council’s office, the annual meeting of secretaries of SCO on Wednesday focused on the COVID-19 pandemic aftermath.
“It was stressed that the social and economic consequences of the novel coronavirus infection pandemic may catalyse the spread of threats of terrorism, extremism, drug trade and organised crime," the press service said in a statement. The Beijing-based SCO is an eight-member economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations.
India and Pakistan became its permanent members in 2017. The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China and the four Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
India has shown keen interest in deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.