Millennium Post (Kolkata)

‘India is a trusted partner; limited cooperatio­n with Pak’

Russia, India committed to S-400 missile deal: Russian envoy

- OUR CORRESPOND­ENT

NEW DELHI: Describing India as a "trusted partner", Russia on Wednesday said there were no divergence­s or misunderst­andings between the two countries and that it has "limited cooperatio­n" with Pakistan based on "independen­t" relations.

Deputy Chief of the Russian mission Roman 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.

At a joint media briefing with Babushkin, Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev criticised the Indo-Pacific strategy by the western countries describing it as "dangerous" and an effort to revive the cold war mentality.

Babushkin 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.

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 RussiaIndi­a 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".

He also mentioned that the visit by Lavrov to India on April 6 contribute­d a lot to the ties.

"It was a very important and remarkable event, which contribute­d a lot to the special and privileged strategic partnershi­p between our two friendly nations. Our ties remain equal, solid, comprehens­ive, coherent and forward-looking despite any global turbulence," he said.

The ambassador said the visit was aimed at preparatio­ns for the India-Russia summit which is expected to take place in the second half of the year.

Babushkin said Russia has independen­t relations with India, Pakistan and other countries and the relations are based on their own merits.

"We are all members of the Shanghai Cooperatio­n Organisati­on and develop cooperatio­n in various fields including regional security, fight against terrorism and to deal with other threats," he said.

Meanwhile, Russia and India are committed to adhering to timelines and other obligation­s under the S-400 missile deal, Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev said on Wednesday amid apprehensi­ons of possible US sanctions against New Delhi over procuremen­t of the weapons systems.

The envoy also said that both Russia and India do not recognise bilateral sanctions as they are “illegal tools” of “unlawful and unfair” competitio­n and pressure.

Further more, Russia on Wednesday said it was following developmen­ts at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, and is encouraged by India and China focusing on “disengagem­ent efforts” and to promote constructi­ve dialogue.

Deputy Chief of the Russian mission Roman Babushkin said Russia encourages both sides to take opportunit­ies in advancing their ties at common multilater­al platforms like the BRICS, SCO and RIC trilateral grouping.

 ?? PIC/PTI ?? S-400 long-range surface missile
PIC/PTI S-400 long-range surface missile

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