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'Open to India mediating in the Ukraine crisis', says Russian Foreign Minister in New Delhi

Source : Asian News International (ANI)

Open to India mediating in the Ukraine crisis, says Russian Foreign Minister
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in New Delhi (ANI)

Russia is open to India mediating in the Ukraine crisis, its Foreign Minister Lavrov said on Friday, adding that the country is committed to continue with India cooperation in defence sector. He said that he had not heard about talk of India mediating in Ukraine crisis. If India wants to buy anything from Russia, we are ready to discuss it, said Lavrov on purchase of Russian crude oil.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov began meetings with India’s leaders in New Delhi on Friday after seeing his Chinese counterpart earlier in the week, as Moscow tries to keep the Asian powers on its side amid Western sanctions.

Lavrov’s mission to shore up support from a country Moscow has long regarded as a friend comes a day after senior U.S. and British officials held talks in New Delhi to persuade the Indian government to avoid undermining sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke by telephone with India’s foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, late on Thursday to discuss “the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine” and other matters.

India and China are the only major countries to have not condemned Russia’s actions. After Lavrov visited China this week, Beijing said it was “more determined” to develop bilateral ties with Russia.

Apart from India’s heft as Asia’s third-largest economy, it is currently also a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, giving it extra diplomatic weight.

Speaking in the Indian capital on Thursday, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics, Daleep Singh said Washington would not set any “red line” for India on its energy imports from Russia but did not want to see a “rapid acceleration” in purchases.

British Foreign Minister Liz Truss also said Britain respected India’s decision to buy discounted Russian oil, while advocating stringent sanctions on Russia relating to the ports, gold and energy sectors.

India has bought millions of barrels of crude oil from Russia at a discount since the war erupted, justifying the purchases as beneficial for its citizens and something that even European countries are doing.

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