In a bid to strengthen their bilateral ties and enhance cooperation on various international platforms, the foreign ministers of India and Russia held a productive meeting, focusing on their partnership within the BRICS G20 and SCO frameworks. The meeting, which took place in Moscow, marked another step forward in the strategic relationship between the two countries.
The meeting between the Indian External Affairs Minister and the Russian Foreign Minister focused on fostering collaboration within the BRICS, the Group of Twenty (G20), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). A significant aspect of their discussions centered around the ongoing transition towards settlements in national currencies, aimed at reducing their reliance on the U.S. dollar.
Foreign Ministers Engage in Talks on BRICS, G20, and SCO Cooperation
On the sidelines of a two-day BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar convened meetings with his counterparts from various countries, including Russia, on Thursday. The BRICS group consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
After a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Jaishankar took to Twitter and wrote, “Had a productive discussion with FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia this morning in Cape Town during the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. Good to exchange views and strengthen our bilateral ties. Our discussions covered bilateral matters, BRICS, G20, and SCO.”
Both India and Russia hold membership in the BRICS G20, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Russia has been actively advocating for enhanced cooperation among fellow BRICS nations. Additionally, both India and Russia have been actively encouraging the utilization of their respective national currencies for trade settlements, aiming to decrease their dependency on the U.S. dollar.
Advancing the Internationalization of the Rupee
During a BRICS G20 presentation in April, the Indian government put forth initiatives aimed at promoting the “internationalization” of the rupee, with the objective of establishing it as a global currency and facilitating international trade settlements in INR. Notably, the governments of Bangladesh and India have recently reached a decision to conduct their bilateral trade settlements using their respective national currencies.
In a recent statement, Lavrov emphasized that Russia is actively transitioning towards settlements conducted in national currencies. He expressed that as trade volume expands, the shift to payments in national currencies will become increasingly viable, highlighting its relevance not only for Africa but also for Latin America, Asian countries, as well as Iran, India, and China. Lavrov asserted that this direction represents the future of international trade.
Discussions within the BRICS nations are underway regarding the potential creation of a shared currency, with further deliberations expected to take place during the upcoming leaders’ summit. Additionally, the economic bloc is actively exploring expansion possibilities, as a significant number of countries, approximately 19, have either expressed their interest in joining or submitted applications to become part of the BRICS alliance.
In conclusion, the recent meetings and discussions between the Indian and Russian Foreign Ministers have underscored the importance of cooperation within the BRICS G20 and SCO frameworks. Both countries are actively working towards strengthening their bilateral ties and advancing shared objectives on various international platforms. The shift towards settlements in national currencies, reducing reliance on the U.S. dollar, has been a significant area of focus. India, in particular, has outlined initiatives toward the internationalization of the rupee, aiming to establish it as a global currency for trade settlements.
Furthermore, the BRICS nations are exploring the possibility of creating a common currency, a topic that is expected to be discussed further in the upcoming leaders’ summit. Additionally, the economic bloc is considering expansion plans, with a considerable number of countries expressing interest in joining or applying for membership. Through these collective efforts, India and Russia, along with their BRICS counterparts, are striving to shape global governance, address global challenges, and foster a multipolar world order based on mutual respect and cooperation.