New Delhi: A day before the crucial BRICS Summit to be presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of Presidents of Russia and China, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, among others, NSA Ajit Doval will hold an important meeting with his Russian counterpart, Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Gen Nikolai Patrushev, on Wednesday (September 8).
PM Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed the developments in Afghanistan over the phone on August 24. They expressed the view that it was important for the two countries to work together.
"The Consultations (between Doval and Gen Patrushev) are a follow-up to the telephone conversation between Prime Minister Modi and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin," an MEA release said.
Russia, which had gone soft on the Taliban in the last few years, has grown apprehensive of certain developments. Russian envoy Nikolay Kudashev said that there is "ample scope" for cooperation between India and Russia on Afghanistan. There is not much difference in the overall position of Russia and India on Afghanistan, he said.
President Putin last month warned about "militants under the guise of refugees" getting into some central Asian states. "There are no visa restrictions. Imagine that refugees entered any of these countries. Who is among these refugees, how do we know?" Putin reportedly told an internal meeting.
China and Pakistan have committed to good relations with the Taliban. Turkey' has also come out for closer coordination with the Taliban. Thus, there is a scope for enhanced Russia-India ties to deal with the new emerging situation.
"There are also plans to discuss current issues on the international and regional agenda with an emphasis on developments in Afghanistan," a Kremlin statement said about the BRICS Summit scheduled for September 9.
"The main agreements will be reflected in the final Declaration."
Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Gen Patrushev is on a two-day visit to India to hold extensive talks with NSA Ajit Doval. Patrushev is also slated to call on Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar. 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.
Because of the fluid situations in the Af-Pak region, the observations of Xi Jinping and Putin on Afghanistan at the BRICS stage would be important. Both Russia and China had abstained when UNSC, under India's chairmanship, had adopted a resolution on the Afghanistan situation on August 30.