Maiden 2+2 India-Russia Ministerial Dialogue to focus on deepening ties

“A day of intense engagements – it will be a Russia Day,” said a government source. (File image)

The first ever 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue will take place in New Delhi on Monday (Dec 6, 2021). The foreign minister and defence ministers of both countries will meet to review the cooperation between the two countries and to discuss the pending defence projects as well as matters of strategic interests including the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.

Monday will witness several meetings throughout the day leading up to the summit level talks between the two leaders later in the evening. The day will end late when the leaders will carry on discussions over dinner before the Russian leader flies back to Moscow.

“A day of intense engagements – it will be a Russia Day,” said a government source.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu are arriving in New Delhi on Sunday. And on Monday will be having the meetings with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar.

Informed sources confirmed to Financial Express Online that the day will start with a meeting of the Indo-Russian Intergovernmental Commission, and in this meeting the Indian side will be led by defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the Russian side by their Defence Minister Gen Shoigu. The focus of this meeting will be on expanding military cooperation, joint development and production of military platforms in India.

This will later be followed by the first ever comprehensive 2+2 ministerial talks and thus both Mr Singh and Dr Jaishankar will be jointly meeting their Russian counterparts. The agenda of the talks is political and defence matters and regional and global issues and developments in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

Will Indo-Pacific feature in the talks? Yes, said a source.

Late evening, Prime Minister Modi will welcome the Russian President Vladimir Putin for the summit. The Russian leader will arrive later Monday afternoon and will leave late evening.

They both will discuss ways to further deepen the Strategic Partnership and a wide range of issues including the global pandemic of COVID-19 and how the two countries can work together in eliminating it, and an important issue is the neighbouring Afghanistan.

Both sides are expected to ink several agreements in various sectors like defence, agriculture, space, trade and others. At the end of talks there a joint statement will be issued.

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