Wednesday, 6 July, 2022
E-paper

Russia's FM Lavrov to visit India today

NEW DELHI: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit India, which has so far refused to condemn Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, for a two-day visit beginning Thursday, reports AFP.

India has abstained from UN resolutions censuring Russia and continues to buy Russian oil and other goods, despite pressure from Washington, with US President Joe Biden last week describing India as "somewhat shaky" on Russia.

India and Russia have had a close relationship for decades. New Delhi, which describes Moscow as its "longstanding and time-tested friend", sources most of its key military hardware from Russia.

Lavrov was due to arrive in India from China, which has also refused to condemn Russia's invasion and has provided a level of diplomatic cover for an increasingly isolated Russia.

In a video released by the Russian foreign ministry ahead of a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Lavrov said the world was "living through a very serious stage in the history of international relations".

Lavrov was due to attend a series of meetings hosted by China to discuss ways to help Afghanistan involving diplomats from the United States and the Taliban-led country's neighbours -- but not India.

India's relations with China have long been frosty but they deteriorated sharply after 20 Indian troops and four Chinese soldiers died in a brawl on their disputed Himalayan border in 2020.

Wang did however visit India last week, the highest-ranking Chinese official to do so since the skirmish, as both sides seek to patch up relations.

The Indian foreign ministry gave no further details on whom Lavrov would meet on his trip, which coincides with visits by British foreign secretary Liz Truss and US Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics Daleep Singh.