External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar will pay a visit to Moscow on November 7 and 8, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced here on Thursday. Dr. Jaishankar will meet his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, to discuss regional and international developments, the MEA’s Official Spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, said.
“External Affairs Minister will also meet Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Minister of Trade and Industry, Denis Manturov, his counterpart for the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC),” said an official press release.
Mr. Manturov is known to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and was given the charge of deputy prime ministership from Yuri Borisov, who lost the post during a reshuffle of Kremlin officials in July.
The visit comes ahead of the G20 summit in Bali, where the top leaders of Russia will come face to face with Western leaders for the first time since the beginning of the war in Ukraine in February. Mr. Lavrov and Dr. Jaishankar met in July 2021 in Moscow, which was followed by Mr. Lavrov’s visit to New Delhi in April 2022.
In December 2021, President Putin had paid a brief visit here to participate in the annual India-Russia annual summit. The next round of the annual India-Russia annual summit is expected to be held in Moscow but the Indian side has not yet indicated that the summit would be held before the end of the year.
Apart from the G20 summit, the first half of November is significant for the future of Afghanistan, which is being discussed by Russia and India, according to the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov. In an article published on Wednesday in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Mr. Kabulov announced that a meeting of the Moscow Format (Russia, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) is scheduled to be held in Moscow in mid-November. “Within its framework, a proposal was made for more intimate interaction with the participation of Russia, China, India, Iran and Pakistan,” Mr. Kabulov said, laying down the agenda of the upcoming Moscow Format’s meeting.
It is understood that the two Foreign Ministers will discuss the situation in Afghanistan during the talks next week in Moscow. The MEA is yet to announce Indian participation in the Moscow Format for Afghanistan.