India to host meeting of security advisers from Shanghai Cooperation Organisation countries

Secretary of Security Council of Russia Nikolai Patrushev will attend the meet chaired by NSA Ajit Doval

Updated - March 29, 2023 08:52 am IST

Published - March 29, 2023 04:21 am IST - NEW DELHI

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. | Photo Credit: PTI

India on Wednesday will host a meeting of the National Security Advisers (NSAs) of member-countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which will be attended among others by Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev. The meeting will be chaired by NSA Ajit Kumar Doval and will be attended in person by several high-level delegates from the Central Asian Republics. Diplomatic sources have confirmed that China and Pakistan will participate in the meeting virtually.

Mr. Doval, who has emerged as one of the core negotiators between India and Russia in the backdrop of the Ukraine war, has engaged Mr. Patrushev multiple times over the last year since the beginning of the Russian campaign in February 2022. The meeting of the NSAs of the SCO member-countries is part of the preparatory meetings for the SCO summit that will be held in India this year.

Global spotlight

The visit of Mr. Patrushev acquires special significance as Russia’s participation in the SCO and the G20 has been in the global spotlight as it shows that western strategy to isolate Russia over the military action against Ukraine has not succeeded so far. Mr. Patrushev had hosted Mr. Doval in February this year when Moscow had held a meeting of the SCO countries on Afghanistan. The two had earlier met in August 2022 when Mr. Doval had visited Moscow for bilateral consultation. It is understood that Mr. Patrushev and Mr. Doval will meet for a bilateral discussion in Delhi. Russia has been assuring that military supplies from its end will not be disrupted because of the pressure on its arms industry from the war campaign in Ukraine and Mr. Patrushev’s presence will allow India a chance to evaluate the situation further.

Wednesday’s meeting is expected to take up the developments in Afghanistan and also help in advancing consultations on Russia’s plans for the Eurasian economic bloc. The SCO consists of Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.

Iran is expected to become a full member of the SCO this year when India is serving as the Chair of the organisation.Apart from the presence of the Russian team, the presence of Pakistan in the SCO is a subject of interest. India has already extended invitation to Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif to participate in the meetings of the Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers of the SCO. Diplomatic sources have not confirmed so far on Pakistan’s participation in the events. 

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