Today, Mr Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, and Mr Wang Yi, the Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China, called on the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Welcoming the Russian Foreign Minister and his delegation to India, the President said that India-Russia bilateral ties are strong. This year we have witnessed intensification in our high-level engagements.
The President was happy to note that bilateral trade between India and Russia registered a growth of 22% in the first six months of this year. He stated that early operationalisation of the International North South Transport Corridor can play a significant role in achieving our bilateral trade targets.
The President said that institutionalization of the India-Russia Heads of Think Tanks Forum, which held its 2nd session in Delhi on December 4-5, would be most helpful to both countries. We should continue with our efforts to bring our think tanks and academic communities closer.
Welcoming Mr Wang Yi to India, the President congratulated him on the successful conclusion of the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China. He stated that India looks forward to working with President Xi Jinping and the Chinese leadership to take our developmental partnership to greater heights.
The President said that we view India-China ties as important in our foreign policy. Our high-level exchanges and interactions have maintained momentum. Our economic engagement is growing. We are also seeing cooperation on many international issues.
The President said that as two major countries in the world, expansion of cooperation bilaterally as well as regionally is in our mutual interest. He was confident that multifaceted relations between India and China will continue to make progress and acquire even greater salience.
The two Foreign Ministers are in India to participate in the 15th RIC (Russia-India-China) Trilateral Meeting later in the day. The meeting, to be hosted by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, is expected to review global and regional issues of common interest.