The implementation of the ongoing Russia-India defence deals, including the supply of a batch of S-400 missile systems, is advancing well despite the threat of US sanctions, the Russian embassy in Delhi said on Monday.
The Russian embassy also said that India should not be worried about its relationship with Pakistan but noted that Moscow is committed to develop ties with Islamabad as it is a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
Addressing a press conference, Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev appeared to criticise the US sanctions on Turkey for procuring the S-400 missile systems under a USD 2.5 billion deal, saying Moscow does not recognise such unilateral actions.
“We do not recognise or welcome unilateral sanctions as a language or tool or instrument of interstate or international relations, other than those applied by the UN Security Council, this is also the case of Turkey,” he said.
“As far as India is concerned, we share the same platform. India’s position is also crystal clear. No sanctions are acknowledged other than those imposed by the UN Security Council. Whatever the future is, we believe that our ties could withstand the coming challenges,” he said.
Kudashev was asked to comment on the US sanctions on Turkey under the provisions of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Russian Deputy Chief of the mission Roman Babushkin said the US is using the sanction regime on arms purchases from Russia as “illegal tools”.
Asked whether Russia expects the Biden administration to lift the sanctions regime, Kudashev said it is difficult to predict, adding, “Let it first announce publicly its plans and foreign policy vision.”
“As far as current deals are concerned, we are advancing well, including with S-400 supplies. If relevant decisions to start works related to Ka-226 helicopters and AK-203 rifles production are expedited, soon we will see good progress, which is especially important due to a deep interest expressed by the Indian armed forces,” he said.
On Russia-Pakistan ties, Babushkin said Russia’s ties with Pakistan are “independent” in nature and that his government is mindful of respecting sensitivities of other countries. “We do not think India should be worried,” he said at the briefing when asked about Russia’s military drills with Pakistan as well as trade cooperation.
He said the basic principle of Russian foreign policy is to have bilateral relations that are not aimed against any other country.
Babushkin said the military drills with Pakistan were part of the counter-terror framework and such collaborations including experience sharing and capacity building is natural for all the SCO member states.
Kudashev, replying to a question at a media briefing on China’s growing belligerence in the Indo-Pacific, said Moscow would welcome enhanced dialogue between New Delhi and Beijing and even wished that relations between the two sides reach the level of Indo-Russia ties.