India & Russia to hold first 2+2 ministerial dialogue in Delhi. What's on agenda
Russian President Vladimir Putin will also be arriving in Delhi on Monday to hold the 21st annual India-Russia summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on Sunday arrived in India ahead of the first ‘2+2’ ministerial dialogue scheduled to take place in Delhi. The agenda for the dialogue, which will be held at the level of the foreign and defence ministers, will cover "political and defence issues of mutual interest".
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said last month that the new mechanism of two plus two dialogue is "expected to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries".
Russian President Vladimir Putin will also be arriving in Delhi on Monday to hold the 21st annual India-Russia summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Both leaders are expected to discuss key bilateral, regional and international issues. This will mark the first face-to-face meeting between both the leaders, after they met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in November 2019.
In the summit as well as in the inaugural '2+2' defence and foreign ministerial talks, the two sides are also expected to focus on the situation in Afghanistan and the rising threat of terrorism including from groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The joint statement to be issued after the summit is expected to reflect India’s concerns over cross-border terror and the fallout of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, people familiar with the development said.
The annual summit will be preceded by meetings between defence minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu and external affairs minister S Jaishankar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, and the inaugural 2+2 dialogue of the defence and foreign ministers.
On Saturday, the Russian ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev said that he is expecting a "sizeable and formidable joint political statement" from the annual summit.
"Negotiating teams are working about outcomes of the Summit, work is on. But what's clear for today is that one of the outcomes would be a sizeable and formidable joint political statement," Russian Envoy said in an interview with news agency ANI.
"It would be a very comprehensive paper, a comprehensive document covering all dimensions of our ties beginning with global issues and the UN revived commitment to itself to its central position in the modern world. Then would come regional issues, Afghanistan included," he added.
(With agency inputs)