FS Shringla calls for greater interaction among strategic affairs analysts of India and Russia

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Moscow, Feb 18 (PTI) Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Thursday highlighted the unique nature of India's close and trust-based partnership with Russia, as he called for greater interaction among the think tanks and strategic affairs analysts of the two nations in line with their strong comprehensive bilateral cooperation.

Shringla arrived in Moscow on Tuesday on his first foreign trip this year and called on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and held wide ranging talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov on Wednesday.

On Thursday, he exchanged views with leading Russian academics and strategic thinkers on the India-Russia relationship in view of the fast-changing geopolitical landscape.

'Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla called for greater interaction among the think tanks and strategic affairs analysts of #India and #Russia in line with our strong comprehensive bilateral cooperation,' the Indian embassy in Russia tweeted.

'Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla exchanged views with leading Russian academics and strategic thinkers on #India-#Russia relationship in view of the fast-changing geopolitical landscape. FS highlighted the unique nature of our close and trust-based partnership with Russia,' the mission said.

Shringla on Wednesday had 'fruitful and productive' meetings with top Russian diplomats on bilateral issues as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest and the two sides discussed ways to further strengthen the bilateral Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.

He also had 'excellent discussion' with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Morgulov on bilateral issues, cooperation in multilateral organisations as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Speaking at the Russian Diplomatic Academy on Wednesday Shringla said: 'I had excellent meetings at the Russian Foreign Ministry, with Mr Morgulov, where we reviewed our bilateral relations, including forthcoming high-level exchanges.

'We also discussed India-Russia cooperation in multilateral forums and exchanged views on issues of regional and international importance,' he said.

During Shringla's meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov, he conveyed greetings of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

'I just called on Mr Lavrov and it was an opportunity to listen to him. He spoke on Russia India relations, that it is very close, very special, very privileged, and strategic, so these were his words and for me, this was very instructive to listen to a personality like him.' 'Given the significance, we attach to the India-Russia Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership, it is only fitting that Moscow is the destination for my first visit abroad in 2021,' he said.

In his address to the budding diplomats of the Diplomatic Academy, the foreign secretary emphasised that a multipolar world and multipolar Asia are not possible without India and Russia.

Shringla’s two-day official visit will add momentum to the India-Russia special and privileged strategic partnership and exchange views on topical issues of regional and international importance. The trip is also expected to lay the groundwork regarding the high-level bilateral visits planned for this year. PTI NSA AKJ NSA