India, Russia discuss bilateral, regional, int'l issues


[**EDS: HANDOUT PHOTO MADE AVAILABLE FROM DEFENCE PRO ON MONDAY, DEC. 6, 2021** New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and others during the 20th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military & Military Technical Cooperation meeting, in New Delhi, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. ( /PTI] New Delhi, Dec 6 : Top officials from India and Russia discussed key bilateral, regional and international issues, including the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, during their meetings here on Monday. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met their Russian counterparts Sergey Lavrov and General Sergey Shoigu, respectively. During the bilateral talks with Lavrov, Jaishankar said: "India-Russia partnership is unique. We are very conscious that in a world of rapid geopolitical changes, it has in fact been remarkably steady and strong." In his opening remarks at the meeting, he said: "I would like to also take the opportunity to underline that we are very satisfied with our bilateral relations and the state of our cooperation." Jaishankar also said that the annual India-Russia summit is a unique event, adding that that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President President Vladimir Putin share a relationship of great trust and confidence. "The annual summit is taking place after a gap of two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are looking forward to some very significant outcomes from the summit," the External Affairs Minister added. During the meeting between Rajnath Singh and General Shoigu, they signed defence agreements. "Defence cooperation is one of the most important pillars of our partnership. I hope the India-Russia partnership will bring peace to the entire region and provide stability to the region," Rajnath said. He also said that the annual India-Russia Summit amidst today's emerging geopolitical circumstances will once again reconfirm the critical importance of special strategic partnership between the two nations. "India and Russia relations are time-tested, based on a common interest in multilateralism, global peace, prosperity and mutual understanding and trust." According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Modi and Putin will begin the summit talks at 5.30 p.m. /IANS


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