In meeting with Lavrov, Jaishankar flags concerns on Indians stuck in Russia-Ukraine war zone

India has taken a firm stance against the recruitment of its nationals by the Russian army stating that it's not in sync with the India-Russia bilateral relationship.
S Jaishankar and Sergey Lavrov (File photo |AP)
S Jaishankar and Sergey Lavrov (File photo |AP)

NEW DELHI: In a bilateral meeting with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Astana on Wednesday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar raised India's concerns over its citizens stuck in the Russia-Ukraine war zone.

"It was good to have met Lavrov today. I raised our concern on the Indian nationals who are currently in the war zone and pressed for their safe and expeditious return. We had wide ranging conversations on our bilateral partnership and contemporary issues and noted progress since our meeting in December 2023," said Jaishankar.

According to reports, nearly 200 Indians were recruited as security helpers in the Russian army. At least four Indians have died in the war zone.

India has taken a firm stance against the recruitment of its nationals by the Russian army stating that it's not in sync with the India-Russia bilateral relationship. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has directly addressed this issue with Moscow and also the Russian Ambassador in India, urging for the early release of all Indians.

Around 30 Indians have reached out to the MEA and Indian Embassy in Moscow for assistance in returning home. This underlines the urgency of the situation and India’s commitment to ensuring the safety of its citizens.

S Jaishankar and Sergey Lavrov (File photo |AP)
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Jaishankar, who is representing India at the Shanghai Corporation Organisation (SCO) Summit, held bilateral talks with his counterparts from Russia, Tajikstan, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is in Astana for the summit, sent a condolence message to Indian President Draupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Hathras tragedy. PM Modi is expected to visit Russia on July 8 for a leadership level meeting with Russian President Putin.

Jaishankar also met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. "Appreciated his insights on the state of the world. Discussed global hotspots and their larger implications. We also spoke about the reform of the UNSC and future prospects of India-UN Partnership," he said after meeting Guterres.

Jaishankar also met the Foreign Minister of Tajikstan Sirojiddin Muhuriddin, Foreign Minister of Belarus Maksim Ryzhenkov, Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan Bakhtiyor Saidov and President of Kazakhstan QK Tokayev.

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