Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin had met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Samarkand last month. They now have plans to meet later this year and Jaishankar’s proposed visit will enable to prepare for that, people familiar with the subject told ET.
The current state of the Ukraine war and early cessation of hostilities that have hurt supply chains of essential items would also be on the agenda of his trip, the people said. India has consistently maintained a neutral stand on the conflict abstaining from key UNSC resolutions based on its national interests notwithstanding intense pressure from the West.
Jaishankar and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, have already met four times since the beginning of the war. Lavrov had travelled to India early April to meet Jaishankar and the PM. Russia has emerged as one of the top suppliers of oil to India, besides fertiliser, coal and coking coal.
The International North-South Transport Corridor via Iran has helped push Indo-Russian bilateral trade. Also, trade in national currencies is gaining momentum. India’s national security adviser Ajit Doval had visited Moscow a few months back to meet his Russian counterpart, eyeing to strengthen security partnership.
Earlier this month, during his Australia visit, Jaishankar referred to long-standing ties with Russia, including in the key defence sector.
In September, following his meeting with Lavrov in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Jaishankar had described Russia as a “major partner in many domains” for India and noted that discussions with Lavrov focused on “bilateral cooperation” among other issues, including Ukraine and G20.
“We discussed a number of issues. Some part of my meeting was focused on our bilateral cooperation because Russia is a major partner in many domains,” Jaishankar had told the media in New York.