Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Wednesday met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Moscow. The two leaders discussed bilateral ties and strategic partnership between their respective countries.
“Pleasure to meet FM [Foreign Minister] Sergey Lavrov, this time in person,” Jaishankar said in a tweet after the meeting. “Excellent talks that reflect our Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership. Value our exchanges on the international situation.”
Lavrov, meanwhile, said that he appreciated the opportunity to hold bilateral talks with India. “We highly appreciate an opportunity to discuss the development of strategic partnership in all areas: bilateral relations, cooperation within the frameworks of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] and the United Nations.”
Jaishankar and Lavrov also discussed India-China tensions and the situation along the Line of Actual Control, according to Economic Times.
On Thursday, Jaishankar is scheduled to attend a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of SCO. Jaishankar will also hold a closely-watched meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi amid rising India-China tensions. The meeting will be hosted by Lavrov.
This is the first face-to-face meeting between the Indian and Chinese foreign ministers since the build-up of border tensions in Ladakh began in May.
On Monday, Jaishankar had said the situation along the LAC was “very serious” and called for “very, very deep conversations” between the two sides at a political level.
Last week, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had met his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow. While that meeting ended with both sides stressing on the need to peacefully “de-escalate” the situation, tensions flared between the two countries once again after Beijing on Monday accused India of firing in the air near the Pangong Lake in Ladakh. The Indian Army had denied China’s accusation and claimed that it was instead the neighbouring country’s troops who fired in the air to intimidate Indian soldiers.