G20: EAM Jaishankar, Russian FM Lavrov hold talks on key areas

India and Russia held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral cooperation, the Ukraine conflict and issues relating to G-20

NEW DELHI | Updated: 01 March, 2023 11:04 pm IST
EAM Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov

Traditional allies India and Russia held key discussions on bilateral cooperation, the conflict in Ukraine and issues relating to the G20 on Wednesday, March 1.

External Affairs minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov a day before the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi. The two leaders held a wide range of discussions, including the conflict in Ukraine.

“A wide-ranging discussion with FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia on #G20FMM sidelines. Exchanged views on our bilateral cooperation and G20 issues,” Jaishankar tweeted.

The two leaders discussed a wide gamut of thematic blocks, which include trade, investment, transport and logistics cooperation, the use of national currencies in mutual settlements, and promising projects in the energy sector.

Expressing support for India’s G20 presidency, the Russian foreign ministry said, “We support India’s G20 presidency in its commitment to promote a unifying agenda that will restore confidence in multilateral diplomacy and prevent the fragmentation of the global economy.”

The Russian foreign ministry said Moscow shares the relevance of India’s stated priorities, such as ensuring inclusive and sustainable economic growth, accelerating progress towards the achievement of sustainable development goals, reforming multilateral institutions and digital modernisation.

“We support India’s effort to improve working mechanisms and create specialised processes to respond to natural disasters and launch start-ups. We are ready to make a significant contribution to making progress in all these areas,” it said.

“We aim to work together with our Indian colleagues to achieve the desired result, showing the greatest possible flexibility. At the same time, we will firmly defend Russia’s fundamental interests and an international world order based on the central role of the UN and international law,” the Russian foreign ministry said.

The Russian foreign ministry also said that the country will strongly promote “recognition of the new global realities” that assert a multipolar system of relations between states.

“During the regular foreign ministers’ meeting, we intend to firmly and openly talk about the reasons and instigators of the current serious problems in world politics and the global economy,” it said.

“We will focus on the attempts by the West to take revenge for the inevitable disappearance of the levers of dominance from its hands. We will also concentrate on its striving to continue receiving unilateral rent, in part, through unequal trade and violent interference in the affairs of sovereign states,” it said.

The Russian foreign ministry also accused the US and the West of pursuing a “destructive policy” that it claimed had put the world on the “brink of a disaster”.

“The destructive policy of the US and its allies has already put the world on the brink of disaster, provoked a rollback in socio-economic development and seriously aggravated the situation of the poorest countries,” it said.

It alleged that the entire world is suffering from “illegal sanctions, the artificial breakup of cross-border supply chains, the imposition of notorious price ceilings and, in effect, from attempts to steal natural resources.”

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