Lavrov, Jaishankar hold talks Tuesday  

New Delhi :  Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar here on Tuesday that may result in a breakthrough in bilateral relations.Lavrov arrives here Monday on a “working visit” which is part of his Asian tour that will also take him to Pakistan.Last month he visited Beijing.

On March 31, India’s Ambassador to Russia BalaVenkateshVarma and Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov discussed issues of bilateral and international agenda, including the schedule of contacts between the two countries this year.

The New Delhi talks are expected to pave the way for a Russia-India summit that was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The two ministers will review the current state of bilateral relations including cooperation in the fight against the pandemic, beside key topics on the regional, global agenda.

Ambassador Varma told Kommersant that an important breakthrough would take place in terms of bilateral relations, reports Tass.

However, Lavrov’s mission, experts say, is not going to be easy because relations between the two countries are facing an increasing number of risks, which particularly include the Chinese factor test.

“Relations have been stalled for the past ten years. Economic ties are at suffering in particular. The Soviet Union used to be one of India’s top three economic partners, but Russia barely makes it into the top twenty,” Moscow State Institute of International Relations Professor Sergei Lunev told NezavisimayaGazeta.

“There also are some positive aspects. For instance, cooperation is underway on the Sputnik V vaccine. India will produce it in larger amounts than Russia itself.

“Defence cooperation remains a cornerstone of relations and progress continues here on all tracks, from the S-400 systems to small arms. Russia accounts for half of India’s weapons exports,” Lunev said.

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