This is Russia’s highest-level visit to India after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine on February 24, All India Radio reported. Lavrov arrived in New Delhi after wrapping up a two-day tour of China, the source said.
The head of Russian diplomacy could have his attention focused on ironing out the payment mechanism between the rupee and the rouble and the interruptions in defense supply, the newspaper The Hindu reflected.
The Russian minister arrived in New Delhi in the midst of a wave of trips by leaders of Western countries, who have sought to change the position of the South Asian country before Moscow due to the war in Ukraine.
Lavrov is expected to focus on strategic issues stemming from the conflict between Kiev and Moscow, as well as specific discussions on buying Russian oil and payment mechanisms, given the sanctions against Russian banks and the exclusion from the Swift banking mechanism.
The Indian government is considering buying Russian oil at a discount and a special inter-ministerial group led by the Ministry of Finance is studying payment problems for Indian importers and exporters as a result of the conflict and sanctions against Moscow.
The United States and its European allies seek to isolate Russia and increase defense exports to Ukraine and neighboring countries, calling on other nations to support those efforts.
India consistently abstained from all UN resolutions against Russia and called for talks between the warring parties.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and also with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.