New Delhi: Indian external affairs minister S. Jaishankar is set take part in a trilateral meeting with his Chinese and Russian counterparts on June 23, just days after a deadly clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh.
The meeting had been in the works for some time, but there had been some speculation that it would be postponed due to continuing border tensions between the two Asian countries.
However, Russia, the current chair of the trilateral grouping known as RIC, announced that the RIC meeting of foreign ministers would be held through video conference next Monday (June 23)
Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, in her scheduled briefing on Wednesday, said that “they will exchange views on trends in global #politics, the #economy and other areas following the #COVID19 pandemic”.
💬 #Zakharova: On June 23, foreign ministers of 🇷🇺 #Russia, 🇮🇳 #India & 🇨🇳 #China are scheduled to meet via videoconference as part of Russia’s #RIC chairmanship. They will exchange views on trends in global #politics, the #economy and other areas following the #COVID19 pandemic. pic.twitter.com/TC0ggnq37G
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) June 17, 2020
The announcement from the foreign ministry was earlier preceded by a statement from the Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov that sought to position Moscow at an equal arm’s length from both China and India.
Stating that Russia was monitoring the “very alarming” report of clashes, Peskov said that Moscow felt that both countries were capable to manage the situation on their own.
“But we consider that the two countries are capable of taking necessary steps to prevent such situations in the future and to ensure that there is predictability and stability in the region and that this is a safe region for nations, first of all, China and India,” Peskov said.
He added that the both China and India “have very close and mutually beneficial relations [with Russia] built on mutual respect”.
The Russian ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev tweeted on Wednesday evening welcoming “all steps aimed at de-escalation at the #LAC, including the conversation between the two FMs, and remain optimistic”
He also stated that the existence of the RIC, for now, is irreversible.
We welcome all steps aimed at de-escalation at the #LAC, including the conversation between the two FMs, and remain optimistic.
— Nikolay Kudashev (@NKudashev) June 17, 2020