Russia 'interested' in India, China being friends: Foreign Minister Lavrov : The Tribune India

Russia 'interested' in India, China being friends: Foreign Minister Lavrov

Lavrov defends his country’s actions in Ukraine, says West trying to prop up Ukraine

Russia 'interested' in India, China being friends: Foreign Minister Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gestures during the Raisina Dialogue 2023, in New Delhi, India, March 3, 2023. Reuters

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 3

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow was ‘interested’ in India and China being friends and was being ‘helpful’ in ironing out differences.

Lavrov went on to defend his country’s actions in Ukraine saying the West was trying to prop up Ukraine and commitments of not expanding the US-led NATO were not pondered upon.

Lavrov was speaking at the Raisina Dialogue organised by the Observer Research Foundation and the ministry of external affairs here on Thursday.

Replying to a question on rising Russia-China relations, he said "Russia has excellent relations with China and India. With India an official document describes relations as ‘specially privileged strategic partnership".

“We are interested that these two great nations (India and China) be friends and we are trying to be helpful”, he added.

“We don’t play one country against other as some other countries are trying,” he said the Indo-Pacific strategies and attempts to militarise QUAD are the risks for the region.

On Russian energy supplies he said “we will henceforth not rely on any partners in the west. Every attempt is to reduce Europe to be under study to the US and ruin the economic linkages between Europe and Russia.

“Energy policy will be more towards reliable and credible partners like India and China”, he ended.

On the ongoing Russia- Ukraine conflict Lavrov said “NATO kept on expanding and west kept on arming Ukraine to go to war to Russia. In the past two decades we have been concerned about the western policy towards Russia. NATO violated all agreements,” he said adding “there was a commitment with (Mikhail) Gorbachev that NATO would not be expanded”. He was referring to the time the Soviet Union was breaking up in early 1990’s and some of the former Soviet republics joined NATO. “There was no delivery on oral commitment, political commitment and legal commitments like implementing UN Security council decisions,” the Russian minister said.

In last February there was increase in firing at Donbass Ukraine “We defended the Russian origin people there who were denied the use of

Russian language in education, teaching and in media. Donbass was a small territory much smaller than what the Russian Army now controls,” Lavrov said.

The Russian minister termed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a ‘Neo-nazi’.

On being asked as to how long this bombing will continue, Lavrov countered, “have you asked US and NATO weather they were certain of what they were doing in Iraq, Afghanistan. If the US has declare any place as a threat like Iraq, Syria or Libya you don’t ask them questions.”

He questioned the G20 (formed in 1999) asking “has it ever, in the past, reflected upon actions in Iraq, Libya or Afghanistan (carried out by US led allies).

The US he said is blackmailing developing countries to vote in a particular manner against Russia at various fora. He said, “Zelensky in September last year, signed a decree to make it a criminal offence to negotiate with Russia as long as (Valdimir) Putin is President.”

#China #Russia #Ukraine

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