New Delhi: Secretary of the Security Council of Russia General Nikolay Patrushev began Tuesday a two-day visit to India. He will hold extensive talks with National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on the situation in Afghanistan following its takeover by the Taliban. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Patrushev is expected to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also.
Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin had August 24 discussed the developments in Afghanistan. They expressed the view that it was important for the two countries to work together. Russian officials have also warned India that terrorism activities may take place on Afghanistan soil.
The MEA said Patrushev is visiting India at the invitation of Doval. The two will hold high-level India-Russia inter-governmental consultations on Afghanistan.
“The consultations are a follow-up to the telephone conversation between Modi and Putin August 24,” the MEA said in a statement. “The two leaders had expressed the view that it was important for the two strategic partners to work together and instructed their senior officials to remain in touch on Afghanistan”” it added.
After the Modi-Putin conversation, Russia said the two leaders expressed the intention to enhance cooperation to counter the dissemination of ‘terrorist ideology’ and the drug threat emanating from Afghanistan. They agreed to form a permanent bilateral channel for consultations on the issue.
Russian envoy Nikolay Kudashev said Monday that there is ‘ample scope’ for cooperation between India and Russia on Afghanistan . Both sides have been in regular touch with each other on the latest developments in the war-torn country. He also said that Russia is as concerned as India that the Afghan soil should not be a source of spreading terrorism to other countries. There is a ‘danger’ of terror being spread to the Russian territory as well as Kashmir.
Russia has been a key player in pushing for the Afghan peace process before the Taliban captured power in Kabul.