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Kashmir an internal issue of India, scrapping Art 370 sovereign decision of govt: Russian Envoy

By Vishal S

New Delhi, Aug 28: Russia on Wednesday maintained its consistent position on the Kashmir issue and Moscow's envoy to India said that it is an internal matter of India. Russia was the first P-5 country to describe India's move on Kashmir as internal after the Centre scrapped Article 370 on August 5.

Russia has been supporting India's position on Kashmir and even the erstwhile Soviet Union had vetoed a number of resolutions on Kashmir in UNSC during the Cold War period.

File photo of Russian Envoy to India Nikolay Kudashev

"This (Article 370 scrapping) is the sovereign decision of the Indian government, it's an internal matter of India. All issues existing between India and Pakistan should be resolved through dialogue on the basis of Shimla agreement & Lahore declaration," Russian Envoy to India, Nikolay Kudashev, said, as per reports.

[Abrogation of Article 370: SC refers matter to Constitution Bench, hearing in October]

"Russia has no role to play in India-Pakistan dispute unless both ask for mediation. During the closed-door event at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), we reiterated that Kashmir is an internal issue of India," said Roman Babushkin, Deputy Chief of Russian Embassy in India.

India and Russia have shared good ties over the last 50-60 years. On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump met on the sidelines of G7 meeting in France. Trump expressed hope that the two countries could sort their differences out through negotiations. Trump had earlier offered to mediation between India and Pakistan resolve the Kashmir issue.

Modi on Monday categorically rejected any scope for third party mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, saying the two countries can discuss and resolve all issues bilaterally and "we don't want to trouble any third country".

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