During the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs' video conference on Tuesday, Russia lauded the role of India in tackling the novel coronavirus crisis. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov thanked India for ensuring the repatriation of 2000 stranded Russian nationals. According to him, this was a clear confirmation of the friendly ties and "privileged strategic partnership" between the two countries.
Lavrov noted that his country understood that there were difficulties in evacuation due to the strict restrictions imposed by the Indian government for fighting COVID-19. He also expressed his gratitude to India for agreeing to supply a large consignment of medicines including hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol to Russia. Thereafter, he exuded confidence that the constructive cooperation with India in this area shall continue in the ongoing difficult period.
Russia, the current BRICS chair convened the extraordinary meeting in the wake of the novel coronavirus crisis. It was attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Brazil Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and South African Minister of International Relations Grace Naledi Pandor. While the meeting mostly focused on the COVID-19 crisis, its impact, the BRICS response, the Foreign Ministers also discussed the activities to be undertaken under the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020.
In his remarks, the External Affairs Minister noted that BRICS which is home to almost 42% of the world population has an important role in shaping the global economic and political architecture. Jaishankar went on to elaborate on the measures taken by the Narendra Modi government such as the Aarogya Setu app and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package. He apprised the other Foreign Ministers about the creation of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund by the SAARC countries.
Thereafter, he observed that India is providing pharma assistance to 85 nations. Maintaining that reformed multilateralism was the way forward, Jaishankar referred to the centrality of development and growth in the global agenda. A meeting of BRICS Health officials is expected to be held on May 7.
Participated in the #BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting on #coronavirus. Shared India’s experience and underlined our commitment to international cooperation and reformed multilateralism. https://t.co/zimTe3BmWm pic.twitter.com/Okmrq5izVE— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) April 28, 2020