India, Russia conduct ‘comprehensive, productive’ dialogue on Afghanistan peace process, bilateral cooperation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Russia is ready to transfer its cutting-edge strategy and “surplus production” to India.

New Delhi: Russia on Tuesday pledged to expand joint arms production in India, discuss key areas of bilateral cooperation and issues related to the Afghan peace process and mutual views in the Indo-Pacific region.

In their discussion, Foreign Minister SW. Jayashankar and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov also discussed the proposed free trade agreement between India and the Eurasian Economic Union.

People familiar with the talks said that the Indian side had informed the Russian delegation about their views and concerns about China’s behavior against the background of the eastern Ladakh border.

In a press conference with Lavrov, Jaishankar described the talks as “extremely heated”, “spacious” and “extremely productive” and said that President Vladimir Putin’s annual Indo-Russian conference included preparations for most of his visit to India. Years

In response to a question, Lavrov rejected any future military alliance between Russia and China, and stressed that cooperation between the two countries is not directed against anyone.

Referring to bilateral defense ties, Lavrov said Russia was ready to shift its cutting-edge strategy and “surplus production” to India. Russia is already part of the joint construction of several military hardware projects in India

“I believe that further strengthening military cooperation is in the national interest of both countries,” he said. At the same time, we respect the right of Indian friends to diversify their friendship in this regard, ”he said, adding that the outcome of the conversation was satisfactory. .

Without giving details, Jayashankar said, “Last year, the needs of our defense sector were quickly addressed.”

Asked about US pressure on India not to buy Russian weapons, he said it did not happen.

He said the United States was pressuring India and any other country to negotiate an arms deal with Russia.

The Russian Foreign Minister arrived in Moscow on Monday evening on a 19-hour visit amid concerns over the active participation of the fourth member countries, including India, in the geopolitical development of the Indo-Pacific region.

Lavrov is on his way from India to Islamabad.

Jayashankar said both countries understand the importance of India-Russia relations for world peace, security and stability and the review of bilateral relations is “truly encouraging”.

Jayashankar said, “I have shared my views on Indo-Pacific. As our Prime Minister mentioned in the Shangri-La Dialogue a few years ago, countries need to work in new and different ways to meet contemporary challenges. “

Russia has criticized the Quad Group for ensuring an independent and open Indo-Pacific against the backdrop of China’s growing resilience in the region. The quad consists of India, the United States, Japan and Australia.

Lavrov described the Indo-Pacific as “Asia-Pacific” and said both sides stressed the need to maintain ASEAN’s central role in the region. He also stressed the need for dialogue between Russia, India and China under the existing tripartite framework.

At the press conference, Lavrov ruled out any future military alliance between Russia and China.

“We have only heard rumors of military alliances in Russia-China relations, we have also heard of the promotion of alliances like the Middle East-NATO, Asia-NATO. Similarly, we believe that it is counter productive.

“We are involved for no one, not for anyone,” Lavrov said.
Jayashankar said the talks also took place in the vicinity of Afghanistan.

“For India, what happens in Afghanistan directly affects its security. I share my view that the need for lasting peace there is to unite the interests of the nation and the people around it. “

“The peace process should be based on the core principles that we have all adopted. A political solution should mean an independent, sovereign, united and democratic Afghanistan,” he said.

Russia’s foreign ministry called the talks “a free exchange of views on the most important issues on the international and regional agendas.”

The two sides discussed ways to resolve global and regional issues, including a peaceful understanding of Afghanistan, a general understanding of the Syrian crisis, the situation surrounding Iran’s nuclear program and the principles of a credible security architecture. The Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

Jayashankar said trade and investment were also discussed.

“We see both countries hungry for more investment in each other,” he said. Russia’s support for our Gaganayan program has grown, which we deeply appreciate, “he said, adding to the long-term partnership in the nuclear and space sectors.

“Our rapidly expanding energy cooperation, which now includes long-term commitments, was also on the agenda.

Lavrov said the two sides agreed on the need to increase work on a restructured intergovernmental agreement on mutual protection of investments and the settlement of national currencies.

“We need to start negotiations on a free trade agreement between India and the Eurasian Economic Union as soon as possible on the basis of mutual benefit,” he said.

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