Last Update: May 04, 2023, 16:41 IST
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who arrived in India to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting, met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at a resort in Goa on Thursday. During the bilateral talks on the sidelines of the SCO meeting, Jaishankar jokingly asked Lavrov if he got a chance to take some rest and suntan in the state known for its beaches.
Responding to the foreign minister, Lavrov smiled and said that he had about one and a half hours for this and then asked Jaishankar not to tell anyone about it. “Don’t tell anyone,” Lavrov smiled and told Jaishankar, according to Russian media.
The two-day SCO foreign ministerial meeting began on Thursday with a grand reception at a luxury beach resort in Goa, while the main deliberations will take place on Friday.
India has been pressing Russia to immediately address the trade imbalance that has been in favor of Moscow. India’s trade deficit with Russia had widened in the last few months after it bought large quantities of subsidized crude oil from that country in the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis.
Lavrov’s visit to India comes a day after Russia accused Ukraine of carrying out a drone strike on the Kremlin in a failed attempt to kill President Vladimir Putin.
About SCO Summit
India is hosting the SCO as the chair of the grouping.
SCO is an influential economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest intra-regional international organizations. It was established at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
India and Pakistan became its permanent members in 2017.
India was made an observer at the SCO in 2005 and has generally participated in the grouping’s ministerial-level meetings, which mainly focus on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.
India has shown keen interest in deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Framework (RATS), particularly on issues related to security and defence.
(With inputs from PTI)
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