Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov praised India’s balanced approach to the war in Ukraine on Friday in New Delhi.
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India, deemed “indecisive” by US President Joe Biden in response to the invasion of Ukraine, refused to join the vote condemning Moscow at the United Nations.
“These days, our Western counterparts want to reduce a significant international problem to a crisis in Ukraine (…)”, the head of Russian diplomacy said in English in New Delhi, during a meeting with his Indian counterpart. .
“(We) appreciate that India is approaching this situation with all the facts and not just unilaterally,” he continued.
“Friendship is a key word to describe the history of our relationship and our relationship has been very supportive in the past through many difficult times,” he added.
Lavrov is due to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday evening and convey greetings from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The diplomat arrived in the Indian capital on Thursday evening from China. He announced the emergence of a new world order that the two countries dreamed of.
Its Chinese allies reaffirmed the “borderless” friendship between their two countries against the United States.
Delhi, on the other hand, shares Western concerns over Beijing’s assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific.
The last clash between Chinese and Indian troops on the Line of Control, on the border of Tibet and India’s Ladakh region, took place only in June 2020. The fighting left 20 Indians dead, according to New Delhi, and four Chinese. side, according to Beijing.
Also visiting New Delhi, White House deputy national security adviser Daleep Singh said India could not count on Russia if another clash occurred.
“Russia will be a junior partner in this relationship with China. And the more influence China has over Russia, the less favorable it will be for India,” he said, quoted by local press.
“I doubt anyone will believe that if China once again crosses the (real) Line of Control, Russia will run to defend India,” he added.
India is part of the “Quad” alliance consisting of the United States, Japan and Australia, which is seen as a bulwark against China.
The United States stands ready to help India, the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer, diversify its energy and defense supplies, Singh also said.
“I came here in a spirit of friendship to explain our sanctions mechanism, the importance of joining us, to express common will and to advance common interests,” the adviser said.
But he immediately warned: “There are consequences for countries actively trying to evade (…) sanctions”.
“We really want all countries, especially our allies and partners, not to create mechanisms that support the ruble and seek to undermine the dollar-based financial system,” he added.
According to the press, India and Russia are working on a payment mechanism in rupees and rubles to facilitate their exchange and avoid Western sanctions imposed on Russian banks.
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