The meeting took place ahead of the 21st India-Russia Summit held on Monday

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in New Delhi and termed the India-Russia partnership as very special and unique.

The meeting took place ahead of the inaugural India-Russia 2+2 meeting and the 21st India-Russia Summit to be held today.

In the opening remarks at his meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister, Jaishankar extended a very warm welcome to Lavrov for what he stated to be their fourth meeting this year.

“And 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,” he said.

“We had last met in Nur-Sultan on the sidelines of the CICA Ministerial Conference,” Jaishankar recalled.

“And I think, today we have an opportunity not only to discuss our bilateral ties and the global situation but also we will be participating in the first 2+2 meeting and of course later in the evening, we will be joining our leaders for the Annual Summit. For us the Annual Summit of course is a very unique event,” he noted.

“Prime Minister Modi and President Putin share a relationship of great trust and confidence. The Annual Summit is taking place after a gap of two years because of the Covid. So we are looking forward to some very significant outcomes from the Summit,” the External Affairs Minister said.

“Our partnership is indeed very special, it is 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,” he argued.

“Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, our Prime Minister 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 also had some exchanges of physical visits,” Jaishankar stated.

“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. And these have all been very very productive,” he added.

Earlier, tweeting about the meeting Jaishankar had said, “Pleased to welcome Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. Look forward to a good discussion on our bilateral cooperation and the global situation. Will also be participating in the first 2+2 meeting thereafter.”