Updated: April 15, 2021 7:17:08 am
Russian ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev on Wednesday said that China is a “friend” and a “strategic partner”, and urged to take a “larger look at Chinese foreign policies” which are being defined by “destabilising activities” by others. He also criticised the Indo-Pacific strategy by western countries, describing it as “dangerous” and an effort to revive the cold war mentality.
Russian embassy’s deputy chief of mission Roman Babushkin said that it has “limited cooperation” with Pakistan based on “independent” relations.
Responding to questions on China’s belligerence in the Indo-Pacific, Kudashev, who held a joint briefing with Babushkin, said, “It is not in our habit to comment on the foreign policy, on the policies of other countries, China included. China is a friend of us and China is a strategic partner. Otherwise, I would advise you to take, take a larger look at the Chinese foreign policies. Among the many factors defining it, could be mentioned the rest of destabilising activities.”
After assuring military equipment to Pakistan and criticising the Indo-Pacific strategy, Russian diplomats in Delhi assured that India is a “trusted partner”.
Babushkin also welcomed the recent commitment by India and Pakistan to follow the 2003 ceasefire on the Line of Control and said these are “very important steps” for regional stability. He also said India must be part of the process of shaping regional consensus on Afghanistan and that New Delhi and Moscow have similar approaches for the Afghan peace process.
When asked about reports of bad optics during Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent visit to India as he travelled to Islamabad from Delhi, Babushkin said “Russia has independent ties with Pakistan and that it does not target any relations against anyone”. “We believe that there is absolutely no reason to see that there are divergences or any misunderstandings between us. It is not the case in Russia-India ties,” he said.
Kudashev said India is a trusted partner of Russia and ties between the two countries were “equal, solid, comprehensive, coherent and forward-looking”. “Russia has limited cooperation with Pakistan as compared to India. However, the fight against terrorism is our common agenda. So we also help Pakistan in providing anti-terrorism equipment and holding dedicated exercise,” Babushkin said.
Babushkin said Russia respects the Simla agreement of 1972 and Lahore declaration of 1999 and that it has no intention to interfere in issues between the two sides.
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