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US pressure won’t affect India-Russia partnership: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Source : Asian News International (ANI)

US pressure won’t affect India-Russia partnership: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his official visit to India, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo/Twitter Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia)


Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister on Friday categorically stated that US pressure will not affect the partnership between India and Russia. “Have no doubt pressure doesn’t affect partnership, I have no doubt no pressure will affect our partnership… They (US) are forcing others to follow their politics,” said Mr Lavrov in New Delhi while replying to a question by ANI about US pressure affecting India-Russia ties.

Earlier this week, the US State Department Spokesperson Mr Ned Price had said that every country has its own relationship with Moscow and Washington is not seeking any change in that.

“Different countries are going to have their own relationship with the Russian Federation. It’s a fact of history. It’s a fact of geography. That is not something that we are seeking to change,” Mr Price had said during a press briefing in Washington.

Mr Price’s remarks had come ahead of Mr Lavrov’s visit to India. The Russian Foreign Minister arrived in New Delhi on Friday amidst the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

“India must not be dependent on systems whose masters can steal your money overnight,” Mr Lavrov said when asked about the United States’ statement that India would be violating US sanctions by purchasing discounted oil from Russia.

On the possibility of India becoming a mediator between Moscow and Kyiv, Russian Foreign Minister said, “India is an important country. If India sees to play that role which provides resolution of the problem…If India is with its position of a just and rational approach to international problems, it can support such process.”

In a major announcement of further deepening of ties between Russia and India, visiting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also said that Moscow is ready to supply oil and hi-tech weapons which Delhi wants to buy from it.

“We will be ready to supply to India any goods which it wants to buy from us. We are ready to discuss. Russia and India have very good relations,” Mr Lavrov said.

The announcement is significant as it comes amid the ongoing energy crisis due to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine that has severely affected energy prices across the world.

Emphasizing that the relations between Moscow and New Delhi are decades old, he said, “Talks are characterised by relations which we developed with India for many decades. Relations are strategic partnerships…This was the basis on which we have been promoting our cooperation in all areas.”

He appreciated Indian diplomacy and assured to extend support to India calling it a “loyal partner”.

Elaborating at length on how Russia can support India in terms of security challenges, Mr Lavrov said, “I believe that Indian foreign policies are characterised by independence and the concentration on real national legitimate interests. The same policy is based in the Russian Federation and this makes us, as big countries, good friends and loyal partners.”

The India and Russia ties have been a longstanding relation. Since the signing of the “Declaration on the India-Russia Strategic Partnership” in October 2000, India-Russia ties have acquired a qualitatively new character with enhanced levels of cooperation in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship including political, security, defence, trade and economy, science and technology, and culture.

Earlier, Mr Lavrov met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Friday. Both the leaders held bilateral talks, tweeted the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Mr Lavrov, who is on a two-day official visit to India arrived here on Thursday. This is the first trip of Lavrov to India since Moscow launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24.

Mr Lavrov’s visit comes soon after China’s foreign minister Wang Yi visit to India last week and ahead of the 2+2 dialogue set to be held between India and the US on April 11.

The Russian Foreign Minister reached New Delhi after his two-day visit to China.

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