Doval meets Putin

NEW DELHI, Feb 9: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval called on Russian President Vladimir Putin and agreed to continue work towards implementing the India-Russia strategic partnership, the Indian embassy in Moscow said today.
“NSA Ajit Doval called on HE President Putin. Wide-ranging discussion on bilateral and regional issues. Agreed to continue work towards implementing the India-Russia strategic partnership,” the embassy tweeted.
The Kremlin said President Putin met with heads of delegations taking part in the multilateral consultations on Afghanistan.
On Wednesday, Doval attended the fifth multilateral meeting of Secretaries of Security Councils/NSAs on Afghanistan which was hosted by Russia.
“We are also worried about attempts to use the situation in Afghanistan to allow extra-regional forces to expand or build their infrastructure,” Putin said, according to the Kremlin.
“These countries will create this under the pretext of countering international terrorism, but they are not doing anything that is really necessary in the real counterterrorism struggle,” he said.
“Obviously, the situation in the country is not improving and we see this. The humanitarian situation is worsening,” Putin added.
In his address at the multilateral meeting on Afghanistan, Doval said no country should be allowed to use Afghan territory to export terrorism and asserted that India will never abandon people of Afghanistan in their time of need.
Besides Russia and India, the meeting was attended by representatives from Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Doval began his two-day visit to Russia on Wednesday.
On Monday, Russian Ambassador to New Delhi Denis Alipov said Russia wants to further diversify its relations with India.
The NSA’s visit to Russia came three months after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar travelled to the country during which the two sides vowed to expand their economic engagement including India’s import of petroleum products from its “time-tested” partner.
Doval’s visit to Moscow also took place ahead of the G-20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in New Delhi.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to travel to India to attend the meeting on March 1 and 2.
The ties between India and Russia remained strong notwithstanding Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
India’s import of Russian crude oil has gone up significantly in the last few months despite increasing disquiet over it in many Western countries.
India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue. (PTI)