Want India, China to be friends – Russian Foreign Minister

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow wants both India and China to be friends.

Replying to a question on Sino–India and Sino–Russia relations at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, Lavrov said Russia had excellent relations with both countries, adding that his predecessor was instrumental in creating the Russia–India–China (RIC), followed by BRICS.

“We are interested in these two great nations (India and China) to be friends,” he said.

Lavrov said Russia’s presence might be better for India and China, who might not want a one-to-one discussion, and that Russia was always in favour of bringing people together.

He also said that while RIC might not be as popular as BRICS, it continues to function.

Speaking on the Ukraine war, Lavrov sought to know why everyone was questioning the lack of Russia’s initiative to negotiate but not Ukraine’s. “Everyone’s asking when Russia is ready to negotiate. Nobody asks Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy when he’s going to negotiate.

Last year, Zelenskyy signed a document making it a criminal offence to negotiate with Russia as long as Russian President Vladimir Putin is present. Can you ask him what he’s doing?” Lavrov was quoted as saying by the news agency ANI.

On the effect of the war on Russia’s energy needs, Lavrov said Moscow “will not let the West blow up gas pipelines again” and would no longer rely on the West as an energy partner. He said they would instead rely on credible partners like India and China.

Moscow has suggested that Western countries were responsible for the blasts that damaged the Nord Stream pipelines in September, an assertion they have dismissed, and has called for an international investigation, as per a report in the news agency Reuters.

The Raisina Dialogue is the flagship think-tank event organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in partnership with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

(The Indian Express)


by Daily News Sri Lanka

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