Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the US-led West of attempting to “undermine” Russia’s close partnership and privileged relations with India.
Speaking at a meeting of the state-run think-tank Russian International Affairs Council via a video link on Tuesday, Lavrov said the West is seeking to reinstate the unipolar world order that would include all states but for Russia and China with which it would deal later.
“‘Poles’ like Russia and China are unlikely to be subordinate to it. However, India is currently an object of the Western countries’ persistent, aggressive and devious policy as they are trying to engage it in anti-China games by promoting Indo-Pacific strategies, the so-called ‘Quad’,” he was quoted as saying by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The US, Japan, India and Australia had in 2017 given shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the “Quad” or the Quadrilateral coalition to counter China’s aggressive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific region.
The US says Quad is not an alliance but a grouping of countries driven by shared interests and values and interested in strengthening a rules-based order in the strategically-important Indo-Pacific region.
“At the same time the West is attempting to undermine our close partnership and privileged relations with India. This is the goal of the US’ very tough pressure on New Delhi in the military and technical cooperation area (with Russia),” the top Russian diplomat added.
In 2018, India and Russia announced that they have elevated their strategic partnership into a “special privileged strategic partnership”.
In October 2018, India had signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, notwithstanding warning from the Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite US sanction.
The S-400 – known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system – can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km.
Rejecting the objective trends towards the formation of a multipolar world, the US-led West has launched a “game,” Lavrov said.
“It has postponed Russia and China for later and is trying to draw all others into a unipolar world by any means possible. For our part, we will promote a unifying agenda”, he asserted.
He said that under the circumstances, the role of contacts between the political scientists and expert communities is becoming much more important.