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Overview of S Jaishankar visit to Russia from Sept 8- 11, 2020 to Attends SCO Foreign Ministers in Moscow

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Jaishankar attends SCO foreign ministers in RussiaA days after Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited Moscow, Russia to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers Meeting, Click Here to Read, now Union Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had a four-days visit to Russia from September 8-11, 22 to attend the SCO-CFM (Council of Foreign Ministers) Meeting in Moscow.

  • During his way to Russia he made a stopover in Tehran, Iran on September 8, 2020 to meet his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif for discussing various aspects of bilateral relations and regional developments including the Chabahar port project. 
  • Both sides emphasised to further expand bilateral ties in “all aspects”.

Now, here is the complete overview of his visit to Moscow, Russia.

India attended 3rd SCO-CFM meeting as SCO’s full member

Dr. S Jaishankar participated in the SCO-CFM meeting, held on September 9-10, 2020, which was hosted by Russia under the chairmanship of Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov. The objective of the meeting is to review the preparations for the forthcoming SCO summit and also exchange views on international and regional issues.

  • Notably, it was the third SCO foreign ministers meeting that India attended as a full member of the eight-nation bloc. Earlier two meetings were held in Beijing (China) on 23-24 April, 2018 and Bishkek (Kyrgyz Republic) on 21-22 May, 2019.
  • The SCO-CFM is the highest forum of SCO after the Council of Heads of State (CHS) and the Council of Heads of Government (CHG).

About SCO:

Founded in2001, the SCO comprises eight member states — India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were admitted as observers of the grouping in 2005. Both the countries were admitted as full members in 2017.
Secretariat– Beijing, China
Secretary-General– Vladimir Imamovich Norov

Other Meetings on the Sidelines of SCO-CFM:

–EAM Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart in Moscow; Both sides agreed on 5 Point roadmap

On the sidelines of SCO-CFM, Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar had frank and constructive talks with State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi on September 10, 2020 regarding the developments in the India-China border areas as well as on India-China relations. Both sides agreed on 5-point roadmap to resolve border standoff in eastern Ladakh which are as follows:

  • Not to allow differences to become disputes.
  • Border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions.
  • Commitment towards protocol on China-India boundary and affairs, maintain peace and all the existing agreements signed in 1993, 1996, 2005 and 2012 to maintain peace and tranquility on their borders and avoid any action that could escalate matters.
  • To have continued communication through the Special Representative mechanism on the India-China boundary question. Therefore, Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC), should also continue its meetings
  • Both sides should expedite work to conclude new Confidence Building Measures to maintain peace in the border areas.

Importantly, this is the first time that talks between India and China have produced a joint statement since tensions shot up in May 2020 in Galwan valley of eastern Ladakh. 

–Foreign ministers of Russia, India, China met in Moscow; RIC’s Chairmanship handed over to India by Russia

A luncheon meeting was also held between the Foreign Ministers of Russia, India and China (RIC), on the sidelines of SCO in Moscow which was organised by Russia which holds the current presidency of RIC. The focus of the meet was to ease tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) i.e. between India and China and to strengthen RIC trilateral cooperation as well as topical issues of international and regional importance. 

  • During the meet, the Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov officially handed over the chairmanship of RIC to the External Affairs Minister of India, Dr S Jaishankar.
  • Under the RIC framework, the foreign ministers of the three countries meet periodically to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues of their interest. The last RIC meet was held virtually on June 23, 2020.

Key Points:

-Ministers reiterated their support for inclusive multilateralism and principles of international law.

-The continuation of joint activities held under the RIC framework were appreciated including the2nd RIC DG-level Consultations on Regional Issues hosted by India in August 2019, 17th RIC Academic Exchange Conference hosted by China in September 2019, the 3rd edition of the RIC Young Diplomats Programme hosted by Russia in October 2019 and the first online meeting of national sanitary and epidemiological services held on 8 September 2020. 

-The Ministers agreed that the three countries will make a significant contribution towards mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

-Russia which holds the current presidency of RIC-SCO-BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) has been playing a quiet but an important role through backchannels to solve Sino-Indian tensions.

–S Jaishankar met his Kyrgyz counterpart 

On the sidelines of the SCO meeting, S Jaishankar also met Finance Minister of Kyrgyzstan Chingiz Aidarbeko to discuss issues of bilateral and regional interest. Both nations agreed to further enhance strategic partnership in all spheres.

  • Notably, Kyrgyzstan supported India in facilitating the return of Indian nationals from the Central Asian country. Air India operated several flights under Vande Bharat Mission to evacuate its nationals stranded in other nations due to lockdown. 
  • About 4,500 Indian students are studying medicine in various medical institutions in Kyrgyzstan. 

Recent Related News:

Minister of Defence (Raksha Mantri) Rajnath Singh paid a 3-day visit to Russia from June 23- 25, 2020 on the invitation of Defence Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Shoigu to attend the 75th Anniversary of Victory Day Parade and to strengthen the longstanding special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia.

About Kyrgyzstan:
Capital– Bishkek
Currency– Kyrgyzstani som
President– Sooronbay Sharipovich Jeenbekov

About Iran:
Currency– Iranian Rial
President– Hassan Rouhani