New Delhi: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov landed in New Delhi on Thursday evening to hold talks with Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar over crude oil offer, rupee-ruble payment and arms deals.
It is the first high-level visit from Russia after the country went to war with Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Delhi at 6 pm. Lavrov would be meeting Jaishankar on Friday afternoon and by 5.50 p.m. he would be flying for Moscow.
As the US-led sanctions and a few Russian banks being removed from the SWIFT messaging system, Lavrov will deliberate upon the rupee-ruble denominated payment method for crude oil which Russia has offered to India. New Delhi is not averse to buying Russian oil at a discounted rate.
It is also stated that the Reserve Bank of India senior officers are meeting their Russian counterparts to discuss the rupee-ruble payment.
Since the start of war, India has been facing pressure from the West and its allies to take a stronger stand against Russia.
As the war between Russia and Ukraine cost India’s military capabilities dearly with delivery of many platforms like nuclear powered submarines, Grigorovich class frigates, Fighter jets, Triumf S-400, AK 203 assault rifle and others were expected to delay. Indian leaders will hold discussion with Lavrov over the issue.
India decided to upgrade its military infrastructure when the country was locked in a major face-off with China along the Line of Actual Control in July 2020. The threat of two-front war – from China and Pakistan – has made India go for large scale arms deals and Russia is still one of India’s largest arms suppliers.
India’s defence ministry has recently reviewed the status of current deals with Russia and how the war is going to impact the military capabilities.
In December 2021, India and Russia signed more than two dozen deals across a variety of sectors and had also inked a 10-year defence cooperation pact.
India will ensure that these deals do not stuck or get delayed due to the ongoing Russia and Ukraine war.