Foreign Secretary Shringla holds ‘fruitful and productive’ meetings with top Russian diplomats

Moscow, Feb 17 (PTI) Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Wednesday had “fruitful and productive” meetings with top Russian diplomats on bilateral issues as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest and the two sides discussed ways to further strengthen the bilateral Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.

Shringla, who arrived in Moscow on his first foreign visit this year, called on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and conveyed greetings of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

“They discussed the wide-ranging Special & Privileged Strategic Partnership between #India and #Russia and ways to further strengthen it,” the Indian Embassy tweeted.

Speaking later at an event, Shringla said he had “fruitful and productive” exchange with the Russian leadership.

Earlier in the day, Shringla had “excellent discussion” with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov on bilateral issues, cooperation in multilateral organisations as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest, the Indian mission said.

“Strong ties between #India & #Russia were further strengthened during the Foreign Office Consultations where all aspects of the multi-faceted relationship were discussed, along with other areas of mutual interest,” it said.

Shringla’s two-day official visit is likely to add momentum to the India-Russia special and privileged strategic partnership and exchange views on topical issues of regional and international importance.

In a video message posted on Twitter, Shringla earlier said: I am very happy to be here in this beautiful city of Moscow. This is my first visit I’ve made outside India in the New Year. I am travelling in these COVID times gives an indication of the importance we attach to our relations with Russia .

“I am sure it will be a very-very fruitful and productive discussion,” the foreign secretary said on his two-day official visit.

He said he would also meet academics, media personnel and experience the Russian culture.

“On the whole I think, we are on our way to see how we can add momentum to an already vibrant relationship, a very strong India-Russia special and privileged strategic partnership. Thank you. Spasibo vam (Thank you in Russian), Shringla said.

In New Delhi on Monday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said this year’s first visit abroad by the foreign secretary to Moscow, at the invitation of Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Morgulov, signifies the importance India attaches to its close and friendly relations with Russia.

“The foreign secretary will hold the next round of India-Russia foreign office consultations with Deputy Foreign Minister Morgulov, during which the two sides will review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including the forthcoming high-level exchanges,” it said.

The MEA said both sides will also exchange views on topical issues of regional and international importance.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic situation, India and Russia have sustained the momentum of the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries,” the MEA added.