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New Delhi, Dec 6 : The emergence of multipolarity and rebalancing in the world, the Covid-19 pandemic, terrorism and radicalisation, Afghanistan, maritime security and ASEAN centrality, would be among the issues figuring at the inaugural 2+2 dialogue between India and Russia, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Monday.
In his opening remarks at the 2+2 dialogue with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, he said that India and Russia have been working together to safeguard their common interests and ensure peace, progress and prosperity for their peoples.
“Our discussions today will address the emergence of multipolarity and rebalancing. We look too at the consequences of over centralized globalization. The Covid-19 pandemic has raised questions about the current model of global affairs. But the long-standing challenges remain even as new ones emerge. Prominent among them are terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization. The situation in Afghanistan has wider repercussions, including for Central Asia. West Asia or the Middle East continues to present hotspots. Maritime security and safety is another domain of shared concern. We both have a common interest in ASEAN centrality and ASEAN-driven platforms.”
Describing the bilateral ties, he said: “In a world that has changed so much, they have been exceptionally steady,” and added that the two sides have had an active dialogue at political levels and also a strong defence partnership over many years.
He said the meeting would give the two sides a suitable platform to discuss politico-military issues of mutual interest that are inter-related and cross-cutting.
The meeting comes at a “critical juncture in the global geopolitical environment which is in great flux, especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic”, he said.
“As close friends and strategic partners, India and Russia have been working together to safeguard our common interests and to ensure peace, progress and prosperity for our peoples.”
Earlier, in his opening remarks ahead of his bilateral meeting with Lavrov, he said “the fact that we do keep in touch and we meet regularly itself is symbolic of the special and privileged strategic partnership that we have established between our countries.”
The two had last met in Nur-Sultan on the sidelines of the CICA Ministerial Conference.
“Prime Minister Modi and President Putin share a relationship of great trust and confidence.,” Jaishankar said, adding that the Annual Summit is taking place after a gap of two years because of the Covid pandemic.
“We are looking forward to some very significant outcomes from the Summit,” he added.
He termed the bilateral partnership”very special” and “very unique”.
“And we are very conscious that in a world of rapid geo-political changes it has in fact been remarkably steady and strong.”
“And I would also like to take the opportunity to underline that we are very satisfied with our bilateral relations and state of our cooperation,” the EAM added.
He remarked that despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, both PM Modi and President Putin have held 2 conversations this year, they have taken part in the Virtual Summits of the BRICS and the SCO.
“And we have had also some exchanges of physical visits. The Secretary of your Security Council was here, our Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas had visited Russia, the Minister of Steel had been there,” he recalled, adding that all the meetings have been “very very productive”.