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Is Russia drifting towards China? Jaishankar responds to Putin's intent to bolster ties with Beijing

Interacting with the Indian community in Singapore, Jaishankar said India should look at its relationship with Russia or any other country from its perspective.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Singapore Published on: March 24, 2024 18:17 IST
Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar meets Putin and Lavrov in Moscow in December last year
Image Source : AP/FILE Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar meets Putin and Lavrov in Moscow in December last year

Singapore: Russia is a country with which India has always had a positive relationship and both countries have taken extra care to look after each other's interests, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Sunday, as he dismissed the notion that Moscow is drifting towards China. Interacting with the Indian community in Singapore, Jaishankar said India should look at its relationship with Russia or any other country from its perspective.

"So, tell me has Russia helped us or harmed us? Has Russia at crucial moments contributed or obstructed? Going ahead, are there gains to be made from Russia or is it only damages which will come out?" he asked. “So, if I do my calculations from my perspective and my experiences, I will get the answer. And the answer in this case is that Russia is a country with which we have always had a positive relationship,” he said.

"Both India and Russia have taken that extra care to look after each other's interests. So, I think we should have that confidence as we go forward," he said while answering a question.

Russia boosts relations with China post-war

The ties between India and Russia remained strong notwithstanding Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue. However, in recent times, Russian President Vladimir Putin has boosted relations with China, especially following the Russia-Ukraine war.

Soon after winning the next term, President Putin asserted to bolster relations with Beijing and later local media reported he may meet his Chinese counterpart in China's national capital in May. 

During his address, Putin neither did mention any negative words for New Delhi nor did he mention any positive message for his "friend" Narendra Modi, who will be facing the Lok Sabha elections in April this year.

Indian leader vows to boost relations with Russia

Earlier on Monday, Modi extended greetings to Vladimir Putin for re-electing as Russian President for the next six years. "Warm congratulations to H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin on his re-election as the President of the Russian Federation. Look forward to working together to further strengthen the time-tested Special & Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia in the years to come," PM Modi wrote for his "friend" Putin.

However, the same enthusiasm was not seen, except for the Kremlin claiming President Putin invited Modi to visit Moscow.

On a question on the US presidential election in November and India's equation with the country after that, Jaishankar said: "I prefer to be patient". Jaishankar said he is confident that India can get along with whoever is President of the US. Jaishankar is in Singapore on a three-day visit from Saturday.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: PM Modi congratulates Putin for securing next term as Russian President: 'Will strengthen time-tested...'

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