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HomeNewsRussian Foreign Minister's visit to focus on India's purchase of Russian oil

Russian Foreign Minister’s visit to focus on India’s purchase of Russian oil

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to arrive to India today and will be on a two-day official visit from Thursday, his first trip to the country since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine last month. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a one-line statement to announce the visit.

“Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Mr. Sergey Lavrov will pay an official visit to New Delhi on 31 March -1 April 2022,” it said.

The focus of Lavrov’s visit to New Delhi is expected to be on India’s purchase of discounted Russian crude oil and putting in place a rupee-ruble payment system for bilateral trade in view of the Western sanctions against Moscow, people familiar with the development said.

Additionally, India is also likely to press for ensuring timely delivery of various military hardware as well as components of the S-400 missile systems by Russia. This comes following Lavrov’s two-day visit of China on Wednesday primarily to attend a meeting of foreign ministers of countries bordering Afghanistan that has been convened by Beijing to discuss the Afghan crisis.

He is expected to arrive in New Delhi this evening after concluding his visit to China. The Russian foreign minister’s visit to India coincides with that of US Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and German Foreign and Security Policy Advisor Jens Plotner, according to news agency PTI report.

Truss will visit India on March 31 while Singh is visiting India from March 30-31. The British foreign secretary is set to hold talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

This comes at a time when unlike many other leading powers, India has not yet criticised Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and it abstained from the votes at the UN platforms in condemning the Russian aggression.

However, last Thursday, India abstained on a resolution pushed by Russia on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, which was seen as reflective of its neutral position on the conflict. India has been pressing for the resolution of the crisis through diplomacy and dialogue.

(With inputs from agencies)


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