New Delhi: Russia is interested in having a world order that is “balanced” and “sustainable”, and appreciates that India hasn’t taken a one-sided position on the Ukraine crisis, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday.
As Western countries work to isolate Russia over its war on Ukraine, Lavrov, who arrived in New Delhi Thursday, held bilateral talks with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.
“Friendship is the key word to describe the history of our relations, and our relations were very sustainable during many difficult times in the past,” Lavrov said in remarks to the media before his talks with Jaishankar, adding, “And I haven’t the slightest doubt that mutual respect and the search for balance of interest will prevail in our relations for the future as well.”
He further said, “We have been developing a special and privileged strategic partnership with New Delhi, and this is one of the key priorities of Russian foreign policy.
“It’s equality and mutual trust which underline our acts in the international arena, and then in the context of the multipolar world which has been objectively shaped … We certainly are interested in having the world order balanced, which makes it sustainable,” he added.
Lauding India’s position on Ukraine, the Russian foreign minister said President Vladimir Putin had sent a “message” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Indeed as you mentioned, our western colleagues would like to reduce any meaningful international issue to the crisis in Ukraine. You know our position, we do not hide anything. We appreciate that India is taking this situation in the entirety of facts, not just in a one-sided way,” he added.
The Russian foreign minister emphasised the fact that the two countries will soon hold a dialogue on enhancing economic ties, and highlighted the outcome of the India-Russia Annual Summit and the first 2+2 talks between the two countries’ foreign and defence ministers, held in December 2021.
Bilateral relations continue to grow, says Jaishankar
In his opening remarks, Jaishankar said bilateral ties between India and Russia had grown over the years, and continue to expand.
“Our bilateral relations have continued to grow in many areas, and we have diversified our cooperation by expanding our agenda. Our meeting today takes place in a difficult international environment, apart from the pandemic,” he said.
Jaishankar also said, “India, as you are aware, has always been in favour of resolving differences and disputes through dialogue and diplomacy. In our meeting today, we will have an opportunity to discuss contemporary issues and concerns in some detail.”
(Edited by Rohan Manoj)
Source: The Print