The Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral foreign ministers’ meet is likely to take place on the sideline of the conclave of foreign ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Goa in the first week of May. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will host his counterparts from Russia and China for the RIC meeting.
With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, Jaishankar will be discussing key issues pertaining to the regional security, economic situation facing the three nations post-pandemic, geopolitical matters, and Ukraine conflict, sources told The Daily Guardian.
Lavrov and Qin are likely to attend the meeting of the SCO foreign ministers on May 4 and 5. On the margins, they are likely to be in the RIC meeting as well. The suggestion to hold the RIC foreign ministers’ meeting came from the Russian government. “Jaishankar is yet to take a final call on holding the RIC meeting, but the indications are such that he will agree to host the meeting of RIC in which his counterparts from Russia and China will participate on the sideline of the SCO FMs conclave,” sources said.
Diplomatic sources told TDG that Jaishankar may use the RIC meet to deliver some bold messages to the Chinese foreign minister over the border and other contentious issues. “At the RIC meeting, Jaishankar is likely to underline the need for all the nations in the grouping to respect the sovereignty and integrity of other nations in what will be a signal to both Russia and China,” sources said.
Diplomats believe that the RIC interactions will help India maintain its strategic balance in the region and in other geographies.