Monday, April 19

Top leaders of US, Russia to hold parleys in New Delhi today


Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and US special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry both landed in the national capital on Monday evening.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, on a two-day visit to India is set to hold talks with his External Affairs minister S Jaishankar today.

Detailed talks are expected on the ongoing peace negotiations on Afghanistan. Lavrov and Jaishankar will meet in the backdrop of an extended troika organised by Moscow last month in which the US, Pakistan, and representatives of the Afghanistan government, members of the Taliban took part. India was not invited for the meet.

Russia has maintained that India is a key regional country and has a stake in peaceful Afghanistan. Kabul also wants India to play a more prominent role. While Moscow is holding talks with the Taliban, India has maintained that any solution should be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.

Russian foreign minister is expected to brief India on steps taken vis a vis Afghanistan.
India and Russia are also expected to discuss the development of Covid-19 vaccines. India has become the fourth largest country to produce Russian vaccine ‘Sputnik’ outside the country

Delivery of S 400 is another subject expected to figure in talks. Jaishankar and Lavrov will also discuss and prepare the ground for the summit meeting between the head of states which is expected to take place later this year. The India-China conflict in eastern Ladakh may also come up on the table.

Russia enjoys good relations with both India and China and had welcomed peace initiates taken by both sides, as some disengagement had taken place on India China border, Moscow has maintained that it is watching developments closely

Indo Pacific region, coordination with India at the UN Security Council, economic recovery are among the gamut of issues that will be discussed. Both leaders will also be holding a press conference later today.
Russia and India both term their time tested relationship as special and privileged , however in a rare departure from tradition Russian Foreign Minister will be heading to Islamabad for talks with Pakistan today.
Russia’s growing bonhomie with Pakistan may cause some unease in relations here.

US special presidential envoy John Kerry is also here on a four-day tour and will meet with Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today

On Kerry’s India visit a US embassy spokesperson said: “Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry is travelling to Abu Dhabi, New Delhi, and Dhaka April 1-9, 2021, for consultations on increasing climate ambition ahead of President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate April 22-23 and the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) later this year”.

“In New Delhi, Special Presidential Envoy Kerry will meet with representatives of the Indian government, private sector, and nongovernmental organizations. As one of the world’s largest economies and a global leader in science and innovation, India is a critical part of the solution to the climate crisis. We see India as an important partner on future clean energy research, development, and deployment, not least because of their successful domestic agenda in this area,” the spokesperson said.

“A key focus for our Administration is supporting and encouraging India’s decarbonization efforts through clean, zero, and low-carbon investment, and supporting India in mitigating its fossil energy use,” Spokesperson added. (ANI)