Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava

First visit abroad of foreign secretary reaffirms importance India attaches to Russia: MEA

ANI | Updated: Feb 25, 2021 23:32 IST

New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): The first visit abroad of Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla this year to Russia reaffirms the importance that India attaches to the special and privileged strategic partnership with Moscow, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.
Speaking at a press briefing, spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, "It was a first visit abroad of the Foreign Secretary this year which reaffirms the importance that India attaches to the special and privileged strategic partnership with Russia."
"During the visit, Foreign Secretary called on the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and handed over a letter of invitation from EAM to visit India at a mutually convenient date. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accepted the invitation," he added.
Foreign Secretary's visit helped to strengthen the close, strategic, special and privileged partnership between India and Russia, the spokesperson said, adding that "it also set the tone for high-level exchanges during the year."
"Foreign Secretary and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov held a Foreign Office Consultations on 17 February where they reviewed important aspects of bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and international issues. There was a detailed discussion on the roadmap of high-level exchanges in 2021 and both sides agreed on a roadmap which includes the Annual Bilateral Summit," Srivastava said.
"Both sides have sustained the momentum of bilateral relations even during the Covid time. There were four telephonic conversations between PM and President Putin during 2020. Foreign Secretary visit was preceded by India-Russia Consultations on UNSC issues and policy planning dialogue at the Joint Secretary/ DG level on 15 February 2021," MEA spokesperson added.
Further talking about Foreign Secretary Shringla's visit, MEA said, "Russian side also expressed keen interest in investment in India under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative as well as to look for cooperation in new and emerging high technologies, defence, under waterways, railways, steel, etc. In terms of cooperation projection, the need for early operationalisation of USD one billion Lines of Credit in Russia's far east was discussed."
Srivastava further informed that both sides also agreed on the need to realize the full potential of bilateral trade and for an early conclusion of the FATA and the bilateral investment treaty.
"The Russian side also expressed the keenness of their private sector for participation in the International Solar Alliance. ...Among Foreign Secretary's other engagements, he inaugurated digital online library in the Indian Embassy in Moscow that would make available 4400 books on India in digital and online format," he added. (ANI)