External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday raised concern about the consequences emanating from the Ukraine conflict that has affected energy and food security around the world.
Addressing a press briefing alongside the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Jaishnkar said he exchanged views on international issues with the Russian side, in which the Ukraine conflict was the dominant feature.
Laying out India’s position on the Ukraine conflict, Jaishankar said, “As Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to Russian President Putin: this is not an era of war. The global economy is simply too interdependent for significant conflict anywhere not to have major consequences elsewhere.”
“We are seeing growing concerns on the energy and food security, emanating from the conflict, that are coming on top of severe stresses created by two years of Covid,” he said.
Jaishankar further said the impact of Ukraine’s conflict is being severely felt by the global south. The external affairs minister is on a two-day visit to Moscow, in continuation of the regular high-level dialogue between the two sides.
During his meeting with Lavrov, he reviewed the entire gamut of the India-Russia relationship. “Just concluded comprehensive discussions with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia. Reviewed the entire gamut of our steady and time-tested relationship. Also exchanged perspectives from our vantage points on global and regional developments,” he said in a tweet.
With Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov, Jaishankar explored cooperation in trade, investments, energy, fertilisers, pharma, agriculture and shipping.
In the press conference with Lavrov, the external affairs minister said India and Russia have a longstanding partnership that has served both countries very well over many decades.
“This covers a range of practical cooperation in fields like trade, investment, commodity, etc, as well sensitive domains like defence, space, and nuclear,” he said.
Jaishankar noted that his objective in coming to Moscow is to sit down with the Russian leadership to assess how India-Russia ties are doing.
“My objective in coming here today is to sit down with Russian foreign minister Lavrov and Deputy PM Manturov to assess how we are doing. There are challenges, that we need to address and prospects that we are exploring,” he said.
He said, in recent years, India and Russia have grappled with how to expand the bilateral trade and introduce more factors of long-term stability and growth.
The external affairs minister said the two sides also noted the significant growth in bilateral trade this year and focused on how to make it more sustainable.
“We are naturally concerned about the trade imbalance and I have raised with the Russian side how to address the impediments that stand in the way of greater Indian exports,” he added.