G20 SCO Summit: Modi, Putin to discuss Indo-Russian ties in UN

Prime Minister Sri. Narendra Modi will be in Uzbekistan on September 15 and 16 to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, where he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both the country's leaders will be discussing about Indo-Russian cooperation within the UN and G20 during the SCO summit. Presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters Tuesday in Moscow.

"A conversation on the international agenda with PM Modi will also take place, the sides will discuss issues of strategic stability, the situation in the Asia Pacific Region, and, of course, cooperation within major multilateral formats, such as the UN, the G20 and the SCO," Ushakov said, reported Russian news agency Tass.

PM Modi is also expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping besides Russian President Putin. It is reported that India will lead the SCO and could also chair the G20.

"This is particularly important, because India will preside in the UN Security Council in December, and, in 2023, India will lead the SCO and also chair the G20," Ushakov added.

Currently, Uzbekistan is the chair of SCO 2022 and India will be the next chair of the SCO.

Kremlin told that, Russian president and Indian PM will hold talks in Uzbekistan on Friday as the two countries aim to boost energy, trade ties and to secure fertiliser businesses.

It is told that PM Modi is likely to have bilateral meetings with Putin and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Samarkand.

"PM Modi's bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev are almost fixed and the meetings will take place on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Samarkand," Moscow reported.

Indian Prime Minister would also have other bilateral meetings during the summit which begins on September 14 at Samarkand in Uzbekistan.

"There are plans to discuss issues of ‘saturation’ of the Indian market with Russian fertiliser and bilateral food supplies," Kremlin said on Tuesday, mentioning the topics of the meeting to be held on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security bloc.

"Above of all moves, aimed at boosting bilateral trade flows will be looked at first. The trade turnover has reached $11.5bn in the first half of 2022, and is up almost 120 percent year-on-year," the Kremlin said.

According to the Indian Commerce Ministry’s website, India’s fertiliser imports from Russia rose to $1.03bn in April-July as compared with $773.54m in the whole of the last fiscal year to March 31, 2022. India has imported about 3.5 lakh tonnes of Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertiliser from Russia this year.

India is currently looking for a three-year fertiliser import deal with Russia. With the Russian-Ukrainian conflict emerging on a longer term than expected, all attempts to sign a long-term fertiliser import deal earlier this year were hit by the challenging geopolitical situation.

Indian Ambassador to Uzbekistan Manish Prabhat had announced earlier that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be attending the summit and hold bilateral meetings with several leaders, including Vladimir Putin.

"Leaders of SCO member countries are meeting after two years due to the COVID pandemic. Some bilateral meetings will take place on the sidelines of the SCO. Still, the programme of the meetings will be finalised in due course," Ambassador Prabhat had told ANI in an exclusive interview.

"Economic cooperation in the SCO is an important question, which will be discussed in the SCO meetings. When we are meeting with central Asian countries, we discuss connectivity which will promote trade, investment and other exchanges between Indian and central Asian countries," he told ANI.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi are also expected to attend the summit.

Prime Minister Modi has sought greater energy cooperation with Russia despite the Western pressure to cut ties with Moscow following the sanctions applied due to the Geo-political conflict.

"India is keen to strengthen its partnership with Russia on Arctic issues. There is also immense potential for cooperation in the field of energy," Modi said last week addressing a virtual meeting of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

Putin will also meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the summit at Samarkand, which happens to be the Uzbekistan’s ancient Silk Road city.

Currently, India and China are key buyers of Russian energy exports, which is in fact a relief to the Moscow based economy due to the recent Western sanctions. Europe is economically suffering from lack of energy raw materials, due to their own sanctions.

This allowed the big two Asian economies to secure raw materials at a discount from Russia, comparatively to its regular buyers it used to sell until sanctions were imposed.

With the opportunity coming from the western conflicts, India, which used to be rarely a consumer of Russian oil, has now emerged as Moscow’s second-biggest oil customer only after China.

Refiners in India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer, have grabbed the opportunity of the discounted Russian oil, which is shunned by the Western countries and companies due to their own policies and stance.

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