Russia, India’s major partner in many areas, discussed a range of issues with Lavrov: S. Jaishankar

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Describing Russia as a “major partner in many areas”, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said talks with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov focused on “bilateral cooperation” as well as the conflict in Ukraine.

“We discussed several topics. Part of my meeting was devoted to our bilateral cooperation because Russia is a major partner in many areas,” Jaishankar said. He was answering a question from PTI about his meeting with Lavrov as he addressed a group of Indian journalists here on Saturday after concluding the New York leg of his visit to the United States with his speech at the session of high level of the United Nations General Assembly.

Just hours before his address at the UN general debate, Jaishankar had a bilateral meeting with Lavrov on the sidelines of the high-level session. “A wide-ranging conversation with FM Sergey Lavrov at #UNGA 77. Discussed our bilateral cooperation. Exchange of views on Ukraine, G-20 and UN reforms,” Jaishankar tweeted.

Responding to the question, he said that while there are “obviously” big issues, which concern both Russians and the rest of the world, the relationship must meet its own requirements, processes and goals.

“We are spending time on the bilateral side, where things are, taking stock,” he said, adding that they also talked “in some detail” about Ukraine-related issues. “To a large extent, he briefed me on various developments from the Russian point of view. I also shared with him what I learned from some others. So it was a back and forth conversation,” he said.
He said there was also a discussion on the G-20, with India starting the G-20 chairmanship in December. “Russia is at the center of the debate when it comes to the G-20. And finally, we talked about the reform of the UN. The meeting in New York is the fourth between Jaishankar and Lavrov this year, including in Bali on the sidelines of the G-20 foreign ministers’ conclave in the Indonesian city of Bali and when Lavrov was in New Delhi earlier this year.

Read also : India on side calling for dialogue diplomacy as only way out: S Jaishankar at UNGA

In response to a question about his meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal this week on the sidelines of the UNGA and the concerns expressed by the leader, Jaishankar said: “A big concern was the conflict itself. He gave me his perception, his appreciation of what was happening in Ukraine.

“As far as India is concerned, we had a discussion about our position and I feel that he clearly appreciated the fact that we were against the continuation of the conflict and for the return to dialogue and diplomacy. “Jaishankar said, adding that Shmyhal had his own take on why it wasn’t happening.

The issue of humanitarian assistance was also discussed and Shmyhal referred to some specific aspects of the situation on the ground, which he said were of concern to the international community as a whole, including the discussion on the progress of the grain issue. , concerns about fertilizers, nuclear power plants publish.

As the conflict in Ukraine drags on for months, India has told the UN General Assembly that it is on the side of peace and the side that calls for dialogue and diplomacy as the only way out.

“As the conflict in Ukraine continues to rage, we are often asked which side we are on. And our response, every time, is direct and honest,” Jaishankar said in his address to the high-level session of the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday.

He stressed that it is in the collective interest of the international community to work constructively, both within the United Nations and outside, to find a rapid solution to this conflict.

During the national statement, he said that in this conflict, India is on the side of peace and will stand firmly there.

“We are on the side that respects the Charter of the United Nations and its founding principles. We are on the side that calls for dialogue and diplomacy as the only way out,” he said. “We are on the side of those struggling to make ends meet, even as they face escalating food, fuel and fertilizer prices.

At various UN platforms like the UN Security Council and General Assembly, India has mostly abstained on resolutions on the conflict in Ukraine.

In his address, Jaishankar expressed concern over the sharp deterioration in the international landscape. “The world is already grappling with the challenges of post-pandemic economic recovery. The debt situation of developing countries is precarious.

“Added to this are now rising costs and decreasing availability of fuel, food and fertilizer. These, along with trade disruptions and diversions, are among the many consequences of the conflict in Ukraine.

He added that the repercussions of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine have further aggravated economic tensions, particularly over food and energy.

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