FS Shringla holds 'productive' meeting with Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister

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Moscow, Feb 18 (PTI) Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla held a 'productive' meeting with Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov on Thursday during which the two sides exchanged views on a number of issues concerning regional and global security.

Shringla, who arrived in Moscow on his first foreign trip this year, also briefed Ryabkov about India's priorities during its BRICS chairmanship in 2021.

'FS @harshvshringla had a productive meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Sergey Ryabkov during which the two sides exchanged views on a number of issues concerning regional and global security,' the Indian embassy here tweeted.

India assumed the rotating Chairmanship of five-nation BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in 2021. This is the third BRICS Presidency for India since its inception (after 2012 and 2016).

On Wednesday, Shringla had 'fruitful and productive' meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov during which they discussed bilateral issues as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest. The two sides also discussed ways to further strengthen the bilateral Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.

Shringla also paid floral tributes at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the premises of the Indian embassy on Thursday.

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

Shringla 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.

'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 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.

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 in2021,' 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/ZH AKJ ZH