Moscow and New Delhi hold bilateral talks

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On Monday, Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko in New Delhi.

The bilateral conversations addressed political, trade, economic, energy, connectivity, defence, and consular matters, according to Indian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Arindam Bagchi on X (previously Twitter). He went on to say that the parties discussed “perspectives on regional and global issues of mutual interest.”

The meeting comes only days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin paid a visit to New Delhi for the annual 2+2 ministerial dialogue. Blinken met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the event on November 10, and the two “reaffirmed” their nations’ “shared vision for close partnership in the Indo-Pacific and on issues of global importance,” according to the statement.

Last month, media reports suggested that Moscow and New Delhi were in discussions regarding a bilateral summit between Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin by end of the year. However, there was no “immediate date or plans for that,” the Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson later clarified.  Diplomatic sources have confirmed to RT that while both sides remain in close contact and discussions on a potential meeting are being held at a high level, nothing has been decided yet.  

Russia and India’s economic cooperation has expanded rapidly in the last year. According to figures from the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, total trade between the two countries reached nearly $44 billion in the first eight months of the year. Defence and security cooperation has also remained solid, with Russia now carrying out a number of big contracts, including the construction of two stealth frigates and the delivery of the last two S-400 Triumph air defence systems.

According to a recent analysis by India’s foremost foreign policy think tank, the Observer Research Foundation, while India and Russia have a long history of diplomatic, military, economic, and cultural relations, the cooperation is “under duress” due to a number of global reasons. However, according to the research, Moscow will remain an important partner for New Delhi in the context of strategic issues, defense supplies, and energy cooperation.