Russian envoy says details of possible visit of Putin being discussed

India and Russia will hold the first 2+2 ministerial meeting later this year before a summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian envoy Nikolay Kudashev said on Wednesday.

On India-Taliban Talks, another senior Russian Embassy official said it was India’s sovereign decision and it was useful to deal with everyone in the region. “Taliban is present in Afghanistan also in a manner it is a party to intra-Afghan talks. Certainly, it will be useful to deal with everyone in the region so that national interests will be better ensured,” said Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Roman Babushkin in response to questions.

Mr. Kudashev said in a virtual press interaction that the recent visit of External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to Moscow demonstrated the attention both sides were paying to satisfy the common desire to maintain strong dynamics of bilateral high-level contacts, which was especially important in view of the preparation for the next big events planned later this year.

“They include both trade and economic as well defence intergovernmental commissions, the first 2+2 ministerial meeting and, of course, the summit – undoubtedly, it will be a new huge cornerstone of the special and privileged strategic partnership, which is really unique,” he stated.

The details of a possible visit of Mr. Putin were being discussed, he said. He added that the “epidemiological situation” would be a very important factor. “At the same time, our leaders are planning to jointly participate in BRICS under the Indian presidency, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summits in September as well as the G20 summit in October,” he noted.

Afghanistan Situation

On Afghanistan, he observed that after western troops started their speedy withdrawal, regional efforts were becoming even more important, and referred to the SCO ministerial, ministers-level SCO-Afghanistan contact group meetings and the international connectivity conference taking place in Uzbekistan. “These events represent very useful opportunities,” he remarked.

Mr. Babushkin said Taliban ‘is a current reality’. “It’s party to intra-Afghan talks, which we believe should be the solution for normalisation and establishment of an inclusive government, which should be involving all major ethnic groups,” he pointed out.

Describing terrorism as one of the biggest challenges facing the region, he said, “our countries are committed to eliminate this threat together in the framework of the current institutions. Of course, it should not be viewed separately from other problems Afghanistan is facing”. That also included the huge amount of drug trafficking issues that have become one of the major source of support to terror activities.