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In Russia Talks, ‘Ukraine Dominant Feature’, Jaishankar Says ‘Global Economy too Interdependent to Have Any Conflict’

By: News Desk

Edited By: Arpita Raj

News18.com

Last Updated: November 08, 2022, 18:26 IST

Moscow

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (right) welcomes Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar for talks in Moscow in Russia on Nov 8. (Image: PTI)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (right) welcomes Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar for talks in Moscow in Russia on Nov 8. (Image: PTI)

Since the Ukraine conflict began, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a number of times

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is on a two-day visit to Russia, on Tuesday said the talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov focused on trade and investments, defence, space, nuclear, projects in the energy sector and also covered both regional and global issues of mutual interest. During the bilateral talks, the EAM also raised the issue of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and asserted the “global economy is too interdependent to have any conflict". On buying oil from Russia, he said that the trade works to India’s advantage.

Jaishankar’s meeting with Lavrov comes amid growing global concerns over increasing hostilities between Moscow and Ukraine. He said that India and Russia have an “exceptionally" steady and time-tested relationship.

Addressing a press conference in presence of his Russian counterpart Lavrov, Jaishankar said, “We have substantial and time-tested relations with Russia. We have been trying to find ways to expand this relationship and make it more durable. We discussed areas where there are natural interests between both countries…India and Russia have grappled with how to expand our bilateral trade and introduce more factors of long-term stability and growth. We are naturally concerned about trade imbalance and have raised this with the Russian side regarding how to address impediments that stand in the way of greater Indian exports."

On the Russia-Ukraine war, the EAM said, “We exchanged views on the international situation from our particular perspectives and vantage points. Ukraine conflict was a dominant feature. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to Russian President Vladimir Putin this is not an era of war. The global economy is simply too inter-dependent for a significant conflict anywhere, not to have major consequences elsewhere."

At a bilateral meeting with Putin in the Uzbek city of Samarkand on September 16, PM Modi told him that “today’s era is not of war".

Calling Russia a “steady partner", Jaishankar said, “For us, Russia has been a steady partner and as I said any objective evaluation of the relationship over many decades would confirm that it has served both countries very well for many decades…World is moving towards greater multi-polarity through steady and continuous re-balancing and that especially means a multi-polar Asia. As prominent nations who have a history of working together, this will influence conversation between Russia and India."

When asked about Russian oil imports amid the western nations’ outcry, he said, “We have seen that India-Russia relationship has worked to advantage so if it works to my advantage I would like to keep that going… As regard to oil supply issue, there is stress on the energy market…But as the world’s third largest consumer of oil and gas, it is our fundamental obligation to ensure that the Indian consumer have the best possible access on most advantageous terms to international market."

In the last few months, India has increased the import of discounted crude oil from Russia notwithstanding increasing disquiet over it by several Western powers and vehemently defended its trade with Moscow, saying it has to source oil from where it is cheapest.

Urging the world to extend full support to the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan on the humanitarian ground, Jaishankar said, “It is important that the world should not forget the situation in Afghanistan because today it is not getting the attention that it deserves. There is a humanitarian situation. India has provided food, medicines, vaccines and we are trying to find ways to support Afghan people."

In his opening remarks in a meeting with Lavrov ahead of the joint press conference, Jaishankar said, “Our meeting today, is of course, devoted to assessing the state of our bilateral cooperation; exchanging perspectives on the international situation and what that means to our respective interests. Where bilateral ties are concerned, you would agree that it is our objective today to fashion a contemporary, balanced, mutually beneficial, sustainable, and long-term engagement. Especially as our economic cooperation increases, this is a significant imperative. We would be discussing how our shared goals are best achieved."

Jaishankar said that his talks with Lavrov also covered various global situations as well as specific regional concerns, such as Russia’s conflict with Ukraine and its consequences on others.

“Where the international situation is concerned, the last few years of the Covid pandemic, financial pressures, and trade difficulties; have taken a toll on the global economy. We are now seeing the consequences of the Ukraine conflict on top of that. There are also the more perennial issues of terrorism and climate change, both of which have a disruptive impact on progress and prosperity. Our talks will address the overall global situation as well as specific regional concerns," EAM Jaishankar said.

On Monday, Moscow said that Russia and India stand for the formation of a “more just" and “polycentric" world order and both sides demonstrated the proximity of positions on the most pressing issues.

“Russia and India stand for the active formation of a more just and equal polycentric world order, and proceed from the inadmissibility of promoting the imperialist diktat on the global arena. Both countries demonstrate the proximity of positions on the most pressing issues and stand for the adherence to the universally recognised norms of international law, enshrined in the UN Charter," the ministry had said.

Since the Ukraine conflict began, Prime Minister Modi spoke to Russian President Putin as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a number of times. In a phone conversation with Zelenskyy on October 4, PM Modi said that there can be “no military solution" and that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts.

India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

(with inputs from PTI)

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first published:November 08, 2022, 16:35 IST
last updated:November 08, 2022, 18:26 IST
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