By Shweta Aggarwal
The Delhi-Moscow strategic connect is set to gain a new momentum during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India and the holding of the inaugural 2+2 India-Russia dialogue on December 6.
Ending speculation, India announced the visit of President Putin and the 2+2 dialogue on November 2. This will be the first face-to-face meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Russian leader since the outbreak of the pandemic and their last meeting on the side-lines of the BRICS Summit in Brasilia in November, 2019. To sustain the momentum in bilateral ties in the time of pandemic, the two leaders held six telephonic conversations since November, 2019 till date apart from virtual meetings for multilateral summits.
“The leaders will review the state and prospects of bilateral relations and discuss ways to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries. The Summit will also afford an opportunity to exchange views on regional, multilateral and international issues of mutual interest,” said India’s external affairs ministry in a statement. “The visit will provide further impetus to the India-Russia Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership,” said the ministry.
The last India-Russia Annual Summit was held in September 2019 during the visit of PM Modi to Vladivostok (Russia). The Annual Summit could not take place in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
The talks between PM Modi and President Putin will be preceded on the same day by the first meeting of the 2+2 Dialogue between the foreign and defence ministers of India and Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu will be visiting New Delhi on December 5-6 2021 for the 2+2 Dialogue. The 2+2 Dialogue was decided on during the telephonic conversation between PM Modi and President Putin on April 28, 2021.
“The establishment of a new mechanism of 2+2 dialogue underscores the importance India attaches to nurturing and upscaling time-tested partnership between India and Russia,” said Manish Chand, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, India Writes Network and India and the World magazine. India has 2+2 dialogue with a handful of countries, including the US, Japan and Australia, said Mr Chand, President, Centre for Global India Insights (CGII), a think tank focused on global affairs.
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