Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday evening to thank her for India’s help with the rescue and medical treatment of Russian tourists on a tempo that fell into the Bhagirathi in Uttarakhand.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Two people died when the vehicle carrying mainly Russian ISCKON group pilgrims met with the accident. Of the 11 survivors, five are being treated in Dehradun, while the six who have been seriously injured were airlifted to Delhi. Mr. Lavrov called the help by Indian officials “efficient and expeditious.”
During the telephone call, the two leaders also discussed bilateral ties and agreed to meet at the earliest. Like the U.S. and China, Russia too has lined up a series of meetings to engage with the new government. On June 18, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin will travel to India for talks and accompany Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the newly acquired INS Vikramaditya, the former Russian aircraft carrier Gorshkov that has been refitted for India.
Mr. Lavrov and Ms. Swaraj discussed the upcoming BRICS summit where Mr. Modi and Russian President Putin will meet. Mr. Rogozin who arrives next week to chair the inter-governmental commission, may face hard questions given that on his previous trip he had completely ruled out “delivering arms to India’s enemies,” in a reference to Moscow’s support for India against Pakistan. Some have since criticised Russia’s decision to lift its embargo and offer Mi-35 attack helicopters and defence equipment to Pakistan despite his words in 2012.
The Hindu, June 12, 2014.