Foreign Secretary, Vinay Kwatra co-chaired the India-Russia Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) meeting in New Delhi on Monday. In the meeting, the Russian delegation was led by Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Andrey Rudenko and both country leaders held detailed discussions of bilateral issues between both countries.

The leaders discussed the political, trade, economic, energy, connectivity, defence and consular issues between both countries. Taking to X, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi shared about the meeting saying, “India-Russia FOC held in New Delhi today. Co-chaired by Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and Deputy FM Andrey Rudenko of Russia. They held detailed discussions on bilateral issues including political, trade, economic, energy, connectivity, defence and consular issues. They also shared perspectives on regional and global issues of mutual interest.”

Russia has been a longstanding and time-tested partner for India. The development of India-Russia relations has been a key pillar of India’s foreign policy. Since the signing of the “Declaration on the India-Russia Strategic Partnership” in October 2000. India-Russia ties have acquired a qualitatively new character with enhanced levels of cooperation in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship, including political, security, defence, trade and economy, science and technology, and culture, the Ministry of External Affairs said in an official document.

As per MEA, under the Strategic Partnership, several institutionalised dialogue mechanisms operate at both political and official levels to ensure regular interaction and follow-up on cooperation activities. During the visit of the Russian President to India in December 2010, the Strategic Partnership was elevated to the level of a “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.” Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin are likely to hold a summit before the end of this year, India’s ambassador to Moscow was quoted as saying by Russian news agency RIA.

“This is being discussed. Discussions are ongoing at a high level,” India’s Ambassador to Moscow, Pawan Kapoor said. RIA Novosti, also referred to as RIAN or RIA is a Russian state-owned domestic news agency. The Indian diplomat, however, did not give any other details, according to RIA Novosti. Speaking at an event last week, Putin termed India a “powerful country”, which it is growing stronger and stronger under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russia-based RT News reported. “India, more than 1.5 billion of population, more than 7 per cent of economic growth…that’s a powerful country, mighty country.

And it’s growing stronger and stronger under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi…,” Putin said, according to a video shared by RT News. The Russian President had not attended the September 9-10 G20 Summit in New Delhi and the country was represented by its foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. The two leaders had last met on the sidelines of the 22nd meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in September 2022. During the Samarkand meeting, PM Modi urged Putin to put an end to Russia’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine and stated, “I know that today’s era is not the era for war.”