22 October, 2009

India is really eyeing Central Asia, but ignore Russia at your own peril

External Affairs Minister Shri S. M. Krishna will lead a delegation to Moscow from October 20-22, 2009 for the 15th session of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC).

The 14th session of the IRIGC was held in New Delhi on December 3, 2008.

This will be Shri Krishna’s first visit to Russia since he took office as EAM and he will call on the President of the Russian Federation H.E. Mr. Dmitry Medvedev. He will also hold bilateral discussions with his Russian counterpart H.E. Mr. Sergei Lavrov.

Thereafter, EAM will visit Tashkent on October 22 – 23, 2009 at the invitation of H.E. Mr Vladimir Norov, Foreign Minister of Republic of Uzbekistan. During the visit, EAM will call on H.E. Mr Islam Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. He will hold talks with his counterpart H.E. Mr. Vladimir Norov, on bilateral, regional and global issues of importance. External Affairs Minister will also pay his respects at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial and inaugurate the India Centre at Al Beruni Institute of Oriental Studies. Besides, EAM will attend a reception hosted by the Indian Ambassador for the Indian community.

(Courtesy : MEA)

Last month, when our President paid a visit to Tajikistan, she first visited Russia. India definitely understands the importance of Russia in Central Asia and just cannot bypass it. At the same time, India needs the Gas rich Central Asia for its power starved citizenry and infrastructure.

Well, one might cite the instance of Turkmenistan when our External Affairs Minister visited it on 18th September 2009 without paying any state visit to Russia. But Turkmenistan was staying in political isolation under Saparmurat Niyazov and EAM had to visit Russia this time around anyhow !

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