‘PM Modi looks forward to visiting Russia next year’: Jaishankar to Putin

New Delhi: While visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar assured the Kremlin leader that PM Modi looks forward to visiting Russia on a “mutually convenient” date next year. Putin, on his part, has extended an invitation to PM Modi to visit the country after the latter skipped their annual summit for the second year in a row.

The EAM also delivered a letter sent by PM Modi to Putin. “Please allow me to convey personal greetings from Prime Minister Modi. Certainly, Mr President he looks forward to visiting Russia next year. I am sure we will find a date which is mutually convenient for the political calendar of both countries. It is something he certainly looks forward to,” Jaishankar said.

Putin told Jaishankar at the Kremlin that despite all the turbulence happening in the world, relations with traditional friends in Asia, with India, the Indian people were developing progressively. “We will be glad to see our friend, Mr Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in Russia. We will be able to discuss all current issues and talk about the prospects for the development of Russian-Indian relations,” Putin had told Jaishankar.

Putin noted the domestic political calendar in India is “difficult and complex” next year — the Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to take place – but expressed the hope that irrespective of the alignment of political forces, traditional friendly ties between the people of the two countries will remain.

Meanwhile, Jaishankar said, “I would also, extensive like to take the opportunity to share with you, aspects of the progress that we have made and in the last two days, which I had a chance to discuss with the Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, and today with FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia. I would like to highlight the progress we have made in trade, which is in excess of a turnover of 50 billion dollars, and whose potential is only now beginning to be visible. It is, therefore, important we give it a more sustainable character.”

Jaishankar’s meeting with Putin is considered significant since the Russian President doesn’t usually meet visiting Foreign Ministers. The EAM was accompanied by Pavan Kapoor, Ambassador to Russia, and Charanjeet Singh, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, in charge of Russia.

Image courtesy of X@DrSJaishankar

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