Russia has decided to postpone the annual Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral summit due to the coronavirus pandemic, Times of India reported. The meeting was scheduled for next week in Sochi.
Uncertainty is looming whether Indian PM PM Narendra Modi will visit Russia in May this year to participate in the May 9 Victory Day celebrations. PM Modi had earlier stated that no minister shall travel overseas in the “upcoming days” because of coronavirus threat.
Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, India’s Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar was scheduled to travel to Russia for a ministerial-level trilateral meeting for the RIC summit and meet counterparts from Russia and China. The meeting was to be held in Sochi on March 22-24.
According to experts talking to the EurAsian Times, the RIC summit was to cover some vital issues including the Afghanistan peace deal, the return of the Quad (quadrilateral security dialogue comprising Australia, India, Japan and the US), the Indo-Pacific concept and the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty for the region.
The RIC summit emerged in the late 1990s under an initiative of Yevgeny Primakov as “a counterbalance to the Western alliance.” The Russian plan was to end US and Western hegemony by rebuilding traditional strategic ties with India and China.