New Delhi: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit India on Thursday – the first high-level visit after Moscow’s military offensive against Ukraine since 24 February.
Lavrov, who is in China at the moment, will stay on till 1 April, the Ministry of External Affairs said.
The elephant in the room would be the Russia-Ukraine conflict, according to sources in the know. India is yet to criticise Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and has abstained from UN votes that condemned the Russian aggression.
However, India signalled its neutral stance last Thursday when it held back on a resolution pushed by Russia on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
The key focus of discussions could be on a payment system for New Delhi’s procurement of oil and military hardware from Moscow, people familiar with the developments told PTI.
Punishing western sanctions on Russia have made payments difficult, sources said. It is understood that both sides may want to activate a rupee-ruble payment system.
India has seen a raft of high-level visitors in the last few weeks. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland and foreign ministers of Austria and Greece have visited India recently.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is scheduled to visit India on Thursday. US Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics Daleep Singh is already in the country.