External Affairs Minister of India Dr. Jaishankar to conclude Russia trip

External Affairs Minister of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will conclude his visit to Russia today. He has met with several government

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External Affairs Minister of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will conclude his visit to Russia today.

He has met with several government figures in Russia, including Duma members and his counterpart Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Afghan security, COVID-19 and a major arms deal likely featured in their discussions.

Russia has promised to export 250 million doses of its domestic Sputnik-V vaccine to India, 3 million of which were sent in late May. Russia, however, is also under severe domestic stress from COVID-19, which has caused significant damage to the Russian population and economy. Only around 12% of the Russian population has been fully vaccinated as of the end of June.

Another item on Dr. Jaishankar’s agenda was the ongoing $5.5 billion arms deal with Russia for the delivery of S-400 missile systems to India, over which the US has threatened New Delhi with sanctions.

Expect Dr. Jaishankar to seek assurances that the delivery of Sputnik vaccines will continue. Similarly, Lavrov is likely to push for the completion of the S-400 purchase. These deals would signal a deepening of the strategic partnership between the two nations, which may prove a moderate obstacle to India’s strengthening ties with the US-led Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

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