India and Russia seek polycentric world: Moscow ahead of EAM trip

NEW DELHI: Ahead of foreign minister S Jaishankar’s talks with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Ukraine and other regional and global issues, Russia emphasised both countries shared similar positions on “most pressing issues” and also in their adherence to international law and the UN Charter, which the West has accused Russia of violating by invading and annexing Ukrainian territory.
Moscow also said before the dialogue on Tuesday, which will also look at ways to further ramp up energy ties despite the Western sanctions, that both India and Russia stood for a more just and equal polycentric world. While not condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine, India has repeatedly called upon Moscow, and indeed others, to respect the UN Charter, international law and also the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Ukraine is likely to dominate the agenda for Jaishankar’s meetings with Lavrov and also Russian trade minister Denis Manturov even though the talks will also focus on Afghanistan, Iran and enhancing cooperation at the UN and also under the SCO, G20 and RIC (Russia-India-China) frameworks.
Against the backdrop of the sanctions imposed by the West, the two countries will focus, as per a Russian foreign ministry statement, on improving trade and investments, transport and logistics, the use of national currencies in mutual settlements, as well as “promising projects in the energy sector, especially in the Arctic shelf and the Russian Far East”.
In remarks aimed at Western nations, many of which continue to closely follow India’s high-level exchanges with Moscow, the Russian statement said India and Russia stood for the active formation of a more just and equal polycentric world order, and “proceed from the inadmissibility of promoting the imperialist diktat on the global arena”.
“Both countries demonstrate the proximity of positions on the most pressing issues and stand for the adherence to the universally recognised norms of international law, enshrined in the UN Charter. We are aimed at promoting a unifying agenda and building a constructive dialogue in the field of interstate relations,” it said.
While there has been speculation in Western media about India brokering peace in Ukraine, Indian and other diplomatic sources said they were not aware of any proposal for India to mediate in the conflict. India though will continue to press Russia, including in the talks on Tuesday, to end the conflict and the West to not do anything that could further complicate the global economy.

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