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13 Nov, 2023 13:53

Moscow and New Delhi hold bilateral talks

Russian and Indian diplomats have discussed trade, defense cooperation, and shared their perspectives on global issues
Moscow and New Delhi hold bilateral talks

Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko held talks in New Delhi on Monday. 

The discussions covered bilateral topics, including political, trade, economic, energy, connectivity, defense and consular issues, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi announced on X (formerly Twitter). He added that the parties shared their “perspectives on regional and global issues of mutual interest.”  

The meeting comes just days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited New Delhi for an annual 2+2 ministerial dialogue. Blinken held discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 10 on the sidelines of the event, and the two “reaffirmed” their countries’ “shared vision for close partnership in the Indo-Pacific and on issues of global importance,” according to the US State Department’s readout. 

Last month, media reports suggested that Moscow and New Delhi were in discussions regarding a bilateral summit between Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin by end of the year. However, there was no “immediate date or plans for that,” the Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson later clarified.  Diplomatic sources have confirmed to RT that while both sides remain in close contact and discussions on a potential meeting are being held at a high level, nothing has been decided yet.  

Economic cooperation between Russia and India has been growing rapidly in the past year. According to data from the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, total trade between the two countries in the first eight months of the year reached nearly $44 billion. Defense and security cooperation has also been robust, with Russia currently executing multiple large orders, including the construction of two stealth frigates and the delivery of the two remaining units of S-400 Triumph air defense systems. 

According to a recent report by Observer Research Foundation, one of India’s leading foreign policy think tanks, while India and Russia share a long history of diplomatic, military, economic, and cultural ties, the partnership is “under duress” due to multiple global factors. The report noted, however, that Moscow will remain an important partner for New Delhi in the context of strategic issues, defense supplies, and energy cooperation.  

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has recently described New Delhi’s relationship with Moscow as “extremely steady” over the past 70 years, adding that the two countries take “great care” to avoid disruptions to their ties despite broader geopolitical changes. Noting Moscow’s fractured relations with the West, the diplomat suggested that Russia will refocus on Asia as the epicenter of economic growth and development while cultivating alternative partnerships.

Jaishankar previously said that New Delhi acted in its best interests when it decided to continue buying oil from Russia despite pressure from the West. He also described the Western sanctions on Moscow as “levers” that advanced economies have at their disposal “based on mechanisms, powers and tools built over many years.”