Russian security official calls on Modi

New Delhi, Sep 8 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the visit to India by Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Nikolai Patrushev allowed “useful discussions” between the two sides on important regional developments.

Modi said this in a tweet after the Russian official called on him.

“Was happy to meet Mr. Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of Russia. His visit allowed useful discussions between both sides on important regional developments,” Modi tweeted.

Patrushev arrived here on a two-day visit on Tuesday as part of a follow-up to the telephonic conversation between Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on August 24 on the developments in Afghanistan.

A statement issued by the PMO said that Modi conveyed to Patrushev that he was looking forward to welcoming President Putin in India in the near future for the bilateral summit.

After the meeting, a Russian statement said that the “two sides reaffirmed their intention to strengthen coordination in the field of enhancing the regional stability, including on the Afghan direction”.

The PMO said Patrushev briefed Modi on his “fruitful exchanges” with NSA Ajit Doval and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar earlier in the day and expressed Russia’s strong commitment to further deepen its ‘special and privileged strategic partnership’ with India.

“The prime minister expressed his appreciation for the visit of the Russian delegation led by Secretary Patrushev at a time when major changes are taking place in the region,” the statement said.

“He asked Secretary Patrushev to convey his thanks to President Putin for his constant attention towards the India-Russia Partnership. He also said that he was looking forward to welcoming President Putin in India in the near future, for the bilateral summit,” the PMO said.

The India-Russia annual summit is expected to take place later this year.

The top Russian security official held wide-ranging talks with Doval with a focus on possible security threats to India, Russia and the Central Asian region from the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. He also met Jaishankar.

The Russian statement said a wide range of issues of the Russian-Indian cooperation, as well as a number of topics of the international agenda were touched upon during the conversation.

“Opportunities for further development of the special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India, including deepening political dialogue at the highest and high levels, were discussed,” it said.

“They also spoke about the prospects for strengthening interaction in multilateral formats, including the SCO and BRICS, as well as development of the Russian-Indian cooperation in the trade and economic sphere,” it added.

India has been in touch with all leading powers on the developments in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of troops by the US.

Three weeks after taking control, the Taliban on Tuesday a unveiled a “caretaker” government, saying it would be headed by Mohammad Hasan Akhund.

Modi and Putin had on August 24 discussed the developments in Afghanistan and expressed the view that it was important for the two countries to work together.

There have been mounting concerns in India over the possibility of a rise in activities of various terror groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Last week, Indian Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal met senior Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai in Doha and conveyed to him India’s concerns that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism.