Weeks after it signed a military cooperation agreement with Pakistan, Russia on Monday said it will never do anything “detrimental” to India’s security interests and that the pact does not envisage supply of any defence equipment to that country immediately.
Calling India as a time tested ally and “closest friend”, Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin said Russia’s relations with Pakistan have “separate value” but they will not be at the expense of ties with New Delhi.
“Never ever will Russia do anything to the detriment of India’s security. India is the closest friend of my country,” Kadakin said addressing a press conference on the eve of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit here from December 10.
Noting that Russia has interest in Afghanistan, the envoy said improvement in its relations with Pakistan will help influencing the country to get “desirable action”.
“You (India) declared you are ready to have more dialogue, more contact to improve your relationship with Pakistan. Since we are strategic partners, why cannot Russia improve its relation with Pakistan the way India does. After all it will be easier for us to together influence it (to take) desirable action,” he said.
Pakistan and Russia on November 20 had signed a military cooperation agreement to deepen their defence ties and vowed to translate their relationship in “tangible” terms. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had also visited Pakistan last month. The visit by a Russian Defence Minister to Pakistan came after a gap of 45 years.
India had reacted cautiously to the development saying it has noted the development.
“The frame work agreement which was signed with Pakistan does not envisage any immediate supply. It is just a framework agreement which we have with many countries,” Kadakin said.
“You must rest assured that India is Russia’s strategic partner and closest friend,” he said, adding Pakistan had asked for helicopters but they have not been given yet.
“Russia’s relations with Pakistan have their separate value. They have independent value. We also have a stake in Afghanistan,” he said.