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'Jaishankar is a real patriot', says Russian foreign minister on India standing its ground on foreign policy

Source : India Today

'Jaishankar is a real patriot', says Russian foreign minister on India standing its ground on foreign policy
File photo of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (left) with EAM S Jaishankar (right). (PTI Photo)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar “a real patriot of his country” after the latter firmly stated that India will decide its foreign policy in light of mounting pressure to cut down imports from Moscow amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

In an exclusive interview with India Today, Sergey Lavrov said, “EAM JAishankar is a seasoned diplomat and a real patriot of his country when he said “we will be taking the decision for our country on the basis of what India believes it needs for its development for its security". Not too many countries can say something like this.”

On India-Russia relationship 

Sergey Lavrov said that Russia cannot rely on any of its western colleagues for food security, defense, or some strategic sectors. He added, “We are open to cooperation with all other countries who do not use illegal, illegitimate measures in violation of the UN charter. And India is among those. We cooperate bilaterally.”

Talking about the India-Russia relationship, Sergey Lavrov said, “India is our very, very old friend. We called our relationship a long ago as ‘strategic partnership’. Then about 20 years ago, India said why don’t we call it ‘ privileged strategic partnership’? And sometimes later, India said let’s call it an ‘especially privileged strategic partnership’. This is a unique description of any bilateral relationship." 

He further talked about the Russian government’s support for PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ scheme. 

“With India, we supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concept of ‘Make in India’. We started substituting the simple trade with local production, shifting production of the goods needed by India on their territory,” Sergey Lavrov said. 

‘Can give India whatever they want in defense sector’ 

Sergey Lavrov firmly stated that Russia can provide India with whatever support the latter needs in the defense sector. 

“On defense, we can provide anything India wants, and technology transfer in the context of defense cooperation is absolutely unprecedented for any of India’s outside partners,” the Russian foreign minister told India Today.

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