Russian foreign minister thanks India for neutrality in Ukraine war

New Delhi, Apr 1 (EFE).- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov thanked India on Friday for its neutral stance on the Ukraine conflict at a meeting with his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, during his two-day official visit to New Delhi.

“We appreciate that India is taking this situation in the entirety of facts not just in a one sided way,” said the Russian minister in a statement before his meeting.

India has maintained a profile of neutrality since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, refraining from condemning the aggression at the United Nations General Assembly.

For several analysts, India’s position is defined by heavy military dependence on Russia, which supplies between 60-70 percent of Indian military equipment, as well as the purchase of Russian crude oil, currently available at cheaper rates due to sanctions.

This neutrality, added to Friday’s meeting, has raised eyebrows from the United States and other European countries, a situation that Lavrov used to criticize “our Western colleagues” for reducing “any meaningful international issue to the crisis in Ukraine.”

Lavrov underlined the historical “friendship” that binds India and Russia and described its “strategic partnership” with New Delhi as “one of the key priorities of Russia foreign policy.”

A partnership that has Bilateral ties have only “intensified” recently, with the development of multiple projects in the fields of energy, science, technology and pharmaceuticals.

Jaishankar, on his part, said they would discuss “contemporary issues and concerns” in a “difficult international environment apart from the pandemic.”

He further stressed that India has always been in favor of resolving differences and disputes through dialog and diplomacy.

Apart from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the two sides were expected to discuss an effective payment mechanism so that the Asian country can import Russian crude at a more competitive price, without having to expose itself to the international sanctions that weigh on the Russian economy.

Lavrov’s visit has placed India at the center of the Western media spotlight especially with regard to the Ukrainian conflict.

Earlier this week, UK Foreign Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and US Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics Daleep Singh also visited India.

Truss had assured her Indian counterpart that strengthening the relationship with India was more important than ever and called for the need for like-minded nations to work together. EFE


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