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India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to visit Russia next week

The visit, in the works for some time, will be the first foreign visit of the top Indian diplomat in 2021. The focus will be on the India-Russia annual summit in 2021, with Russian President Vladimir Putin's India visit. Russia and India have an annual bilateral summit level mechanism that alternates between the two countries.

  • The visit, in the works for some time, will be the first foreign visit of the top Indian diplomat in 2021.
  • The focus will be on the India-Russia annual summit in 2021, with Russian President Vladimir Putin's India visit.
  • Russia and India have an annual bilateral summit level mechanism that alternates between the two countries.

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India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to visit Russia next week

New Delhi: India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla will visit Russia next week and this visit will be for a couple of days which will see a number of bilateral meetings. The visit comes even as both sides have been engaged at multiple levels, from cooperation against COVID-19 pandemic to defence.

The visit, in the works for some time, will be the first foreign visit of the top Indian diplomat in 2021. The focus will be on the India-Russia annual summit in 2021, with Russian President Vladimir Putin's India visit. Russia and India have an annual bilateral summit level mechanism that alternates between the two countries.

PM Modi had visited Russia's Vladivostok in 2019 for the summit, while 2018 saw the visit of President Putin visiting Delhi for the annual summit. In 2020, the summit could not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Russia and Japan are the only two countries with which India has this mechanism. 

A multilateral focus will also be there since India and Russia are part of the BRICS and New Delhi being the chair of the grouping this year. 2020 saw Union Defence Minister visiting Moscow twice, first for the 75th anniversary of Victory Day and then for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) defence minister. Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited the country too for the SCO FMs meet.

Russia will be delivering the S-400 missile system by the end of 2021, in what will be a significant defence-related development between New Delhi and Moscow. The USD 5 billion deal was signed in October 2018 by both countries. While this is the first visit of the Foreign Secretary in 2021, 2020 saw him travelling to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives, Nepal, France, Germany, UK amid the COVID019 pandemic.

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