We can't take a 'Kabadiwalla' approach on India, Russia ties : NSA

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On Board the PM's Special Air India aircraft, Nov 11 (UNI) ''We cant's take kabadiwalla (ragpicker) approach to India-Russia ties,'' National Security Adviser M K Narayanan commented today.

He was talking to reporters accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his two-day visit to Russia.

Mr Narayanan was obviously put off when a reporter pointed out that tomorrow's meeting between the Prime Minister and Russian President Vladimir Putin would be perhaps the shortest summit between the leaders of the two countries.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon interjected to say that one has to look at the quality of relationship between the two countries and not measure its importance in terms of the time the two leaders spend together. He pointed out that this would be the second meeting between Dr Singh and President Putin within a year.

The Russian leader had visited India in January this year and had summit level talks with the Indian Prime Minister.

''You can't have a kabadiwalla approach towards the whole issue of friendship between the two countries,'' he added.

Mr Narayanan also rejected outright the suggestions that the ties between the two countries had witnessed a ''diplomatic chill'' in recent days.

The Foreign Secretary said media reports about ''chill'' in ties were far-fetched. ''I was there at Harbin in China where the Foreign Ministers of the two countries had an excellent bilateral meeting on the margins of the India-Russia-China trilateral meeting last month ,'' he added.

UNI

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