In what is expected to raise eyebrows in New Delhi, the Russian envoy to India, Nikolay Kudashev, on Monday said that Pakistan has taken “serious measures” to curb terror financing and shown desire to be a part of global and regional efforts to fight the menace.
Kudashev, however, said it would not be correct to say that Russia was getting closer to Pakistan as Moscow’s relations with New Delhi “are unique and second to no one”.
Responding to a question on whether Russia views Pakistan as a reliable partner to address its interest in Afghanistan, Kudashev said the integrity of Pakistan was growing.
“The credit (must) be given to Islamabad. After this country joined the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation), it started taking serious measures to curb the financing of terror. The integrity of Pakistan is growing and there is no reason to deny its wish, its desire to be part of regional and global efforts to fight terror,” Kudashev said in his address at the Ananta Aspen Centre’s Ambassador Series in New Delhi.
But Kudashev said the problems in Afghanistan would be impossible to solve without taking on board every neighbouring country.
“This logic also guides us towards further developing relations with Pakistan, which is, on the other hand, Russia’s historic and important regional partner as well. These ties are not emanating from the regional balance of power equations, but growing on their own merits,” he said.
“Importantly, we don’t look at the situation in the region from the point of view of bilateral disputes, which we are not in a position to interfere or take sides,” he said.
On China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, he said Russia was ready to cooperate with China on BRI, saying it views the project from an economic perspective.