Foreign ministers of Russia, India and China set to meet in Moscow as a step towards confidence building

New Delhi: The foreign ministers of Russia, India and China (RIC) will meet in Moscow on Thursday, in what could act a confidence building measure (CBM) to reduce the current Sino-Indian tensions and set the stage for a bilateral meeting between S Jaishankar and Wang Yi, also at the Russian capital.

While all eyes are on the bilateral meet that could start the process of complete disengagement along the Line of Actual Control, the RIC could act as a CBM and provide opportunity for communication on regional and global issues.

The Chinese side on Wednesday announced the RIC foreign ministers would meet on Thursday. On Tuesday, Russia had hinted at a possible meeting. It could happen over lunch.

In the last week of June, days after the Galwan incident, the RIC foreign ministers met virtually where Jaishankar had a subtle message for his Chinese counterpart.

“…the challenge today is not just one of concepts and norms, but equally of their practice. The leading voices of the world must be exemplars in every way. Respecting international law, recognising the legitimate interests of partners, supporting multilateralism and promoting common good are the only way of building a durable world order,” Jaishankar had then said.

However, over the past two months, the Chinese side remained intransigent as the People’s Liberation Army toughened its position along certain points along the LAC.

Last week, referring to the significance of trilateral meetings at the launch of his book ‘The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World’, Jaishankar had said: “If you are looking at a multipolar world and visualise that a lot of your understandings with people are on issues, then, we will have different combinations … to be in SCO, QUAD, RIC, this is the world we need to understand and come to terms with.”

Russia, which holds the current presidency of the RIC as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the BRICS bloc, has been playing a quiet but important role to defuse Sino-Indian tensions. It hopes that Delhi and Beijing will be able to reach a mutually acceptable solution.

After the June RIC meeting, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov had told ET: “New Delhi and Peking (Beijing) have taken enough measures to bring down the tensions, and it is already working. Both the ministers have spoken. Moreover, India and China have signed (in the recent past) an agreement on strategic partnership. In the framework of the RIC, SCO, BRICS, these platforms are playing key roles to sort out any issues among the member countries.”

He said Russian did not have any intention to interfere into the matters of India and China, backing India’s position against any outside intervention in differences with neighbours or any other country. “I don’t see any reason for a third-party intervention to solve the current issue,” he had said.

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