External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Friday, a day after the US warned of repercussions if Moscow tried to “circumvent” US sanctions.
Jaishankar tweeted, “Concluded talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Discussed bilateral cooperation and developments in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iran, Indo-Pacific, ASEAN and the Indian sub-continent.”
The high-level meetings took place in the wake of reports that India may buy larger quantities of discounted Russian oil, and both sides were eager to establish a ruble-rupee trading agreement.
The Indian government considered the Rupee-Ruble system as a backup plan for conducting business with its strategic partner. Using the specialised payment mechanism, India will be able to fulfil current trade agreements with Russia while avoiding the severe sanctions imposed by the West and dealing in US dollars.
Last week, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) met with executives from three Russian financial institutions, including VTB, Sberbank, and Gazprombank, to discuss the potential Rupee-Ruble agreement, indicating significant progress.
Lavrov is also expected to meet PM Narendra Modi.