Indian EAM S. Jaishankar Visits Russia For The 1st Time Since Russia-Ukraine War

Swarajya Staff

Nov 09, 2022, 04:38 PM | Updated 04:38 PM IST

S Jaishankar with Lavrov
S Jaishankar with Lavrov

EAM S. Jaishankar is on his first visit to Moscow since the Russia Ukraine war began. 

“The Ukraine conflict was a dominant feature of our talks,” said Jaishankar during his joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"We exchanged views on international issues. The Ukraine conflict was a dominant feature. As the PM conveyed to Russian President Putin - this is not an era of war. Global economy is simply too interdependent for significant conflict anywhere not to have major consequences elsewhere," Jaishankar added.

Reporters at the press conference asked Jaishankar about India's oil imports from Russia and West's alleged unhappiness over it.

Jaishankar said, “As regards to the oil supply issue, there is stress on the energy market…But as the world’s third-largest consumer of oil and gas, it is our fundamental obligation to ensure that the Indian consumer has the best possible access on the most advantageous terms to the international market. We have seen that the India-Russia relationship has worked to my advantage so if it works to my advantage, I would like to keep that going.”

On the topic of India-Russia bilateral trade, Jaishankar said that India-Russia trade is “on track to achieve a target of $30 billion in terms of the annual trade turnover. And that is partly due to the preparations and discussions which we have had between us in the last few years. Our economic cooperation is moving towards long-term stability, but this needs to be balanced if it is to be sustainable. These issues are at the core of our talks today.” 

Much of the surge in India-Russia trade is being driven by India's energy imports from Russia and import of fertilisers and soya oil.

There has been no significant surge in India's exports to Russia, which is not good for India as this trend will lead to a trade imbalance. Jaishankar flagged that it was necessary to have balanced trade. 

Jaishankar's visit to Russia comes at a time when the US is also considering negotiating with Russia. As per a report from Washington Post, the Joe Biden administration is privately urging the Ukrainian government to give up its demand of not negotiating with Vladimir Putin.

As Winter approaches, the chances of unrest in Europe are rising. Russia's attacks on Ukraine's critical infrastructure  is ensuring that significant parts of Ukraine have no access to electricity.

Ukrainians are getting ready to evacuate out of Kyiv completely if there is a sustained blackout in the capital. If this were to occur and if Russia were to target more cities in Western Ukraine, the pressure on Europe will increase as there will be a spike in the refugee flow. 

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