During his visit, Sergei Lavrov is likely to meet his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar, and could also call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi
New Delhi: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will be visiting India next week, with the trip expected to pave the way for the pending annual India-Russia Summit.
During his visit, Lavrov will meet his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar, and is also likely to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, official sources said.
The topics likely to be discussed include the Quad alliance between India, the US, Japan, and Australia, and New Delhi’s proposed purchase of the S-400 air defence system from Moscow, something Washington has been discouraging India from pursuing since former US President Donald Trump’s tenure.
According to sources, Lavrov’s visit will be followed by a trip by Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual India-Russia Summit. The summit, which is held alternately in India and Russia, could not take place last year — with the Ministry of External Affairs citing Covid-19 as the reason.
Kabulov is expected to brief India on the status of the intra-Afghan dialogue, or the negotiations underway between the elected Afghan government and Taliban leaders to establish peace in the country, under the Moscow format.
S-400, Quad on agenda
The S-400 is expected to be India’s air defence umbrella and the main pillar of the Indian Air Force’s defence grid. India is believed to have informed Washington that the process to acquire the Russian system began much before the US introduced the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which attracts sanctions against countries involved in trade with Russia, besides Iran and North Korea.
Last year, Russia played a central role in easing tensions between India and China, which found themselves engaged in a months-long border stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.
In December, MEA Secretary (West) Vikas Swarup visited Moscow for consultations on the UN Security Council.