Agrees to continue work towards implementing India-Russia special, privileged strategic ties
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Thursday held extensive bilateral talks with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev in Moscow focusing on issues relating to bilateral cooperation and regional and international developments.
In a late night statement, the Ministry External Affairs (MEA) said that Doval also called on Russian President Vladimir Putin and agreed to continue work towards implementing the India-Russia special and privileged strategic partnership.
It said that the NSA also met Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov and discussed issues pertaining to bilateral defence and economic cooperation.
The MEA said Doval participated in the fifth multilateral meeting of secretaries of security councils/National Security Advisers on Afghanistan on Wednesday.
“NSA Ajit Doval also called on the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and had wide-ranging discussions on bilateral and regional issues,” the MEA said.
“It was agreed to continue work towards implementing the India-Russia special and privileged strategic partnership,” it added.
The MEA further said: “On February 9, NSA Ajit Doval held a bilateral dialogue with Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, and discussed issues, including bilateral relations, regional and international developments.”
In his remarks at the security dialogue on Afghanistan, Doval stressed the need to ensure that the territory of Afghanistan does not become a source of radicalization and terrorism, regionally or globally, it said.
He also underlined the need to intensify intelligence and security cooperation to deal with terror outfits, including those designated under the UN Security Council resolution 1267.
“He also pointed out that the well-being and humanitarian needs of the Afghan people is India’s foremost priority,” the MEA said.
The Kremlin said President Putin met with heads of delegations taking part in the multilateral consultations on Afghanistan.
“We are also worried about attempts to use the situation in Afghanistan to allow extra-regional forces to expand or build their infrastructure,” Putin said, according to the Kremlin.
“These countries will create this under the pretext of countering international terrorism, but they are not doing anything that is really necessary in the real counterterrorism struggle,” he said.
“Obviously, the situation in the country is not improving and we see this. The humanitarian situation is worsening,” Putin added.
Besides Russia and India, the meeting was attended by representatives from Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
On Monday, Russian Ambassador to New Delhi Denis Alipov said that Russia wants to further diversify its relations with India.
The NSA’s visit to Russia came three months after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar travelled to the country during which the two sides vowed to expand their economic engagement including India’s import of petroleum products from its “time-tested” partner.
Doval’s visit to Moscow also took place ahead of the G-20 foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to travel to India to attend the meeting on March 1 and 2.
The ties between India and Russia remained strong notwithstanding Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. India’s import of Russian crude oil has gone up significantly in the last few months despite increasing disquiet over it in many Western countries.
India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.