Following Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit, the Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov is visiting India. Lavrov is likely to visit New Delhi in the coming days amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
The dates of the visit are yet to be announced and are expected to be decided once India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar is back from his visit to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
The Russian foreign minister’s visit will focus on the global geopolitical situation amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Russian minister is expected to brief India on the country’s position in the war and update the situation of the country. Lavrov is expected to brief India also on the peace talks undergoing between Moscow and Kyiv.
The Russian minister is expected to discuss mechanisms to set the rupee-rouble transaction format in order to facilitate trade between the two countries of which one faces dollar-related sanctions. Moscow has pushed countries in the past to switch to rouble transactions despite the US and EU sanctions being placed on the country. Indian oil companies are already purchasing a high amount of Russian oil at discounted prices amid global sanctions.
The Chinese minister had met with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during his visit, and Lavrov is expected to do the same. Amid the Russia-Ukraine war, despite India abstaining from votes at the UN against Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Modi has made contact with both Zelenskyy and Putin in the past.
Foreign affairs experts have, meanwhile, ruled out chances of the West succeeding in bringing India to the negotiation table to condemn the Russian military operation in Ukraine. Strategic Affairs Expert Sushant Sareen says that he was not sure if the visit was to invite India to the negotiation table despite New Delhi having good relations with both Moscow and Kyiv. “I think it’s a move to show a country like India is on their side against the likes of Western countries. This is something similar to what the Chinese minister did with his recent visit,” Sareen said.