Russia, India in talks over absence of mutual transactions in rupees: Lavrov

New Delhi/Panaji: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday said that Russia and India are in discussions over the way forward in converting into another currency the billions of rupees of Russian money accumulated in Indian banks, in order for Moscow to use it.
Asked at his press conference in Panaji, Goa on the sidelines of the SCO foreign ministers’ meet, to comment on reports that talks between Russia and India on using their national currencies in mutual settlements have been suspended, he said that the absence of mutual transactions in rupees with India is a problem for Russia.
“As for the rupees, this is a problem, because we have accumulated billions of rupees in accounts in Indian banks, and we need to use this money. But to use it, these rupees need to be transferred in another currency, and this is being discussed now,” Lavrov said.
Asked if the drone terror attack over the Kremlin was discussed during his talks with EAM S Jaishankar, he said that it was not discussed in detail.
“We didn’t discuss in detail the terrorist attack on the Kremlin; we know the position of India, which is in favour of stopping any provocations, any terrorist attacks; there is no doubt about this.”
He also said that the attending foreign ministers had prepared a capacious package of documents for the SCO Leaders’ Summit, including the political declaration, and a number of documents on combating radicalization, as well as on digital transformation and healthcare.
“We have a common vision of the problems that are now being witnessed on the world stage. And there is a common desire to coordinate our actions both in the UN and on the Eurasian continent with such structures as the Eurasian Economic Union, with ASEAN, with the BRICS countries,” Lavrov said, according to Izvestia.
On the issue of the creation of a common currency of the SCO countries, Lavrov said that such an initiative was being discussed, but so far the attitude towards greater use of national currencies prevails among member countries.
He also said that the SCO ministers agreed to intensify the SCO-Afghanistan contact group. Lavrov said the situation in Afghanistan requires quite urgent measures. According to the Russian FM, the US is “again trying to intervene” in Afghan affairs and is not leaving any attempt to reintroduce its military infrastructure into the region around Afghanistan, to Central Asia.
“Everyone perfectly understands the grave danger that such attempts are fraught with,” Lavrov emphasized.
Sergey Lavrov said that all the SCO foreign ministers condemned the Kremlin drone terrorist attack.
“It was clearly a hostile act. It is clear that without the knowledge of hosts Kiev terrorists could not have committed it. And we will not answer by talking about whether it is casus belli or not, but we will respond with concrete actions,” he added.
“In Moscow they see a growing understanding that the problems that arose as a result of the actions of the United States and their satellites to pump Ukraine with weapons to counter Russia cannot be solved, only freezing the contact line in Donbass.”
“Everyone understands the geopolitical nature of what is happening, understands that without resolving the main geopolitical problem, which consists in the desire of the West to maintain its hegemony and dictate to everyone and all its will, no crises in Ukraine or other parts of the world, it is impossible to solve,” he emphasized.
At the same time, Lavrov declared Moscow’s readiness to conduct a dialogue with the West. “This conversation will take place sooner or later,” he said, Izvestia reported.

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