Updated January 2nd, 2024 at 12:26 IST

Why did Jaishankar say his mind games are working?

India has maintained a neutral stance on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, advocating for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the issues.

Reported by: Digital Desk
EAM Jaishankar | Image:ANI
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New Delhi: "If people can't read me, that means my mind games are working", External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told news agency ANI while responding to the Western media's criticism over his visit to Russia and the camaraderie between PM Narendra Modi and Russian President Putin. Notably, India has maintained a neutral stance on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, advocating for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the issues. 

In an interview with ANI Jaishankar said, "I have written about it in my book and I mean I said it in Moscow. I said it in publicly in Moscow even before my meeting with President Putin happened which is that we value this relationship. It is a relationship that has served India well." Earlier in December, Jaishankar travelled to Russia for a five-day visit and met Russian President Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Russian Deputy PM Denis Manturov. During his meeting with Putin, he conveyed warm greetings to PM Modi and handed over a personal message. In a post on X, Jaishankar noted that he appreciated Putin's guidance on the further development of ties between India and Russia.

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Putin had extended an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Russia next year. "We will be glad to see our friend, Prime Minister Modi in Russia," Vladimir Putin said during his meeting with Jaishankar. During PM Modi's visit, "We will be able to discuss all the relevant, current issues and talk to the prospects of the Russian and Indian relationship," Putin added.

In a meeting with Putin, EAM Jaishankar underscored the significant progress in India-Russia bilateral trade, surpassing USD 50 billion. He emphasised the potential for further growth and the need to give the trade relationship a more sustainable character.

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Referring to Russia as India's "valued and time-tested" partner, Jaishankar, after meeting Lavrov, stressed the mutual benefits derived from the relationship. He highlighted advancements in trade, investment, military-technical cooperation, and connectivity projects as indicators of the significance India places on its ties with Moscow.

On India-Russia Ties

Speaking about India-Russia ties, he said, "I think I must have been reacting to how I was asked that particular question and I know that is not your intent. For us, Russia is a very valued partner. It's a very time-tested partner. It's a relationship from which both India and Russia have benefited enormously and my presence here today and the fact you know all the developments that I have pointed out including our growing trade, investments, our military-technical cooperation, our connectivity projects. I think all of this will give you a good sense of the importance and the value that we attach to the relationship."

Jaishankar on annual meetings between leaders of India and Russia.

The External Affairs minister also spoke about the tradition of annual meetings between leaders of India and Russia. He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin did not hold an annual meeting due to India's G20 Presidency and preoccupations at the end of the year. He expressed confidence that the annual meeting will be held next year. Jaishankar noted that India and Russia have positive feelings for each other.

The tradition of annual meetings between our leaders is something that we value very greatly and as someone who has seen it over the last decade, I can attest to its enormous value. I think, my colleague has seen it for longer and could confirm what I am saying. I don't think it is an issue of resumption of the summits. This year, because of our G20 presidency and at the end of the year, we had some preoccupations," Jaishankar said.

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Published January 2nd, 2024 at 12:26 IST