India committed to ASEAN centrality: Jaishankar to Russia

New Delhi, Apr 6 (IANS): India and Russia are exploring connectivity through the north-south international transport corridor and eastern maritime corridor.

Concluding his talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday, India's External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said that the two sides have noted new opportunities in the Russian Far East.

"We spoke of connectivity, including the International North-South Transport Corridor and the Chennai-Vladivostok Eastern Maritime Corridor," an official statement issued by the ministry said.

While discussing international relations, Jaishankar told Lavrov that India is strongly committed to ASEAN centrality and this has been underlined by the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative that India has been advocating at the East-Asia summit.

"As we implement our Act East and beyond policy, Russia is a very important partner. Whether it is their Far East or whether it is the Chennai-Vladivostok Corridor," Jaishankar said.

Though the world has changed in the last seven decades and there have been different governments at both ends, the ties between India and Russia have remained uniquely strong and steady, Jaishankar said, adding that the reason for this has been the consistent ability of both the sides to identify and update their shared interests.

"We are both cognisant of the multi-polar and rebalanced nature of international relations today. We both understand the importance of our relationship to global peace, security and stability," he said.

The two ministers also talked about the longstanding partnerships in nuclear, space and defence sectors.

Jaishankar said the bilateral cooperation remains energetic and forward looking.

Much of the discussion on Tuesday covered the preparations for Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit for the annual summit later this year, the ministry statement said.



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