Jaishankar Meets Blinken, Lavrov in Bali

Foreign minister S Jaishankar held talks with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Bali on a wide range of issues, including the Ukraine conflict and Afghanistan.

“Continued the conversation with Secretary Blinken on global and regional issues, this time at Bali G-20 FMM," said Jaishankar in a tweet following his meeting with Blinken. “Our relationship today allows us to approach a range of challenges with greater understanding and openness. ”

With Lavrov, Jaishankar discussed steps to further the bilateral economic and security agenda following last week’s call between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two ministers also discussed the Ukraine conflict and the Afghan situation, officials said.

“Met FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia on the sidelines of the Bali #G20FMM. Discussed bilateral matters of mutual interest. Also exchanged views on contemporary regional and international issues, including the Ukraine conflict and Afghanistan,” Jaishankar tweeted.

The two ministers are expected to participate in the July 28-29 SCO meeting in Uzbekistan. Lavrov had visited India in April. Jaishankar also met his counterparts from France, South Korea and the Netherlands and discussed a host of issues, including bilateral economic ties and the Indo-Pacific region.

The Jaishankar-Lavrov talks came a week after Modi and Putin held a comprehensive dialogue on implementation of the announcements made at the December 2021 Summit, and the state of global energy and food markets in the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis. Putin had given a detailed briefing to Modi on the Ukraine operations. India has maintained that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue notwithstanding pressure from the West.

Over the last few months, India has also increased the import of discounted crude oil from Russia, despite criticism from several Western powers. India’s crude oil imports from Russia have jumped by over 50 times since April and now accounts for 10% of all the crude the country imports. India is also importing coal and gas besides fertilisers from Russia. INSTC, which connects Russia with India in the shortest possible time, has also been activated.

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