India, Russia to establish a ‘2+2 ministerial dialogue’ between foreign, defence ministers, Boosts Cooperation
India, Russia to establish a ‘2+2 ministerial dialogue’ between foreign, defence ministers. The development came after a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The talks focused primarily on the ongoing Covid crisis in India with Russia sending assistance for New Delhi later on Wednesday, learned citing wionews.
With a focus on increasing engagement, India and Russia on Wednesday announced the establishment of a new 2+2 dialogue at the foreign and defence minister level between the two countries. So far India has this mechanism with only three countries, United States, Japan, and Australia. But is significant is Russia is the first non-Quad member country with which New Delhi will now have this mechanism.
The development came after a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The talks focused primarily on the ongoing Covid crisis in India with Russia sending assistance for New Delhi later on Wednesday. Russia is sending 20 oxygen production units, 75 lung ventilators, 150 medical monitors and 200,000 packs of medicine.
The PMO statement on the talks said, “Prime Minister Modi thanked President Putin and noted that the prompt Russian support to India was a symbol of our enduring partnership”. The Russian readout of the talks highlighted how President Vladimir Putin supported Narendra Modi during this difficult period of combatting the spread of the coronavirus and informed him of the decision to send emergency humanitarian aid to New Delhi.
During the talks, the focus was also on Russia’s Covid vaccine Sputnik V whose first batch will arrive in India later this month. It is the third vaccine New Delhi has given approval to after Covishield and Covaxin. Indian companies will be producing 850 million doses of the vaccine, which not only be used in India, Russia but also other countries.
PMO release said, “Approval for emergency use of Sputnik-V vaccine in India was appreciated by President Putin. The leaders noted that the Russian vaccine will be manufactured in India for use in India, Russia and other countries.”
Putin Visit To India
Later this year, Russian President Putin will visit India for the annual India Russia bilateral summit that alternates between the two countries. 2020 was the first time the summit could not happen due to the Covid pandemic. PM Modi had visited Russia’ far eastern city of Vladivostok in September of 2019 for the summit. While defence being the key pillar of a partnership between the two countries, Russia trained four Indian astronauts, who are part of the Gaganyaan mission, India’s first manned mission to space.