Russia on Wednesday appreciated India’s nuanced stance on the Ukrainian crisis. Terming it “independent and balanced”, Russia welcomed India’s practical approach to international politics.
“We welcome the independent position India has taken in the UN Security Council twice already [and] which was expressed openly by the Indian external affairs minister and other officials,” Russian chargé d’affaires Roman Babushkin said. Roman Babushkin is the senior most diplomat in the Russian embassy as the new ambassador is yet to present his credentials to the Indian President.
He shed light on India and Russia’s respect of sovereignty in crucial foreign, defence and domestic political decisions. “(Russian and India) don’t threaten each other with unilateral sanctions and don’t interfere in domestic affairs,” he said.
In two different meetings of the UN Security Council on the said crisis, India has avoided censuring Russian aggression, especially its recognition of Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk provinces as independent People’s Republic.
Mr. Babushkin agreed that the sanctions on Russia because of its aggression on the Ukrainian border will impact its economy and financial services. But he assured that its defence partnership with India will remain vibrant.
“We keep in mind the possibility of negative influence of sanctions with regard to our cooperation in particular affairs, including defence. But at the same time, when it comes to our case with India, we have very strong and [long-standing] trusted cooperation…” he said.
He said that Russia has learnt to accommodate foreign sanctions while formulating foreign and defence policies, especially vis-à-vis India.
“Sometimes it is even beneficial to Russia, because we have learnt how to live independently, not relying too much on Western technologies and financial resources… (we have) full confidence that all our plans (regarding critical defence tech) will be successfully implemented,” he added.
“We continue our work with our Indian partners in defence. We have big plans and we hope that our partnership will continue further at the same level we are enjoying today,” he further added. He also confirmed Russia’s participation in the upcoming Defexpo exhibition in India to be held in Gujarat from 10th -14th March.
He further stressed on the importance of the bilateral defence relationship for global security. “(the defence partnership is a) strong factor of international peace and stability and to the full extent reflects the national interests of both countries,” he asserted.
“We (India and Russia) keep moving shoulder to shoulder in our big task to establish just and equal multi-polarity based on globally recognised principles, international rules and the central role of the UN,” he confidently said.
“(India and Russia partnership) doesn’t represent any threat to anyone,” he asserted.
Russia acknowledged the statements and has called it a result of a privileged partnership which it enjoys with India. India’s stance at the UNSC reflects “our special and privileged strategic partnership and fully corresponds to Indian aspirations,” he added.
India’s statements have invited massive criticism from western scholars, leaders and foreign policy analysts.