Special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India on track: Nikolay Kudashev
New Delhi, Dec 24: Russian Ambassador in Delhi Nikolay Kudashev in a statement said that the special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India is progressing well despite COVID-19.
He also said that India and Russia are working out new dates for the Summit in near future. The Annual Summit meeting between the Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation is the highest institutionalised dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between India and Russia.
So far 20 Annual Summit meetings have taken place alternatively in India and Russia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Vladivostok from September 4-5, 2019 for the 20th India-Russia Bilateral Summit.
Meanwhile the Centre has denounced and termed as false comments by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who said that the traditional India-Russia relations were damaged.
The government clarified that the India-Russia annual summit was cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Anurag Srivastava said that the India-Russia Annual Summit did not take place this year because of the pandemic. This was a mutually agreed decision between the two governments. Any imputation otherwise is false and misleading. Spreading false stories in important relationships is particularly irresponsible, he also said.
"Russia is a very important friend of India. Damaging our traditional relationships is short-sighted and dangerous for our future," Rahul Gandhi had said in a tweet. There were also reports that the cancellation of the summit for the first time was linked to Russia's comments expressing reservations about India joining the QUAD. Russia had said that this would be detrimental to inclusive dialogue for ensuring peace and stability in the region.
QUAD is a grouping of the US, India, Japan and Australia and is aimed at ensuring a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. This is seen as a counter to the growing Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.
"We are facing some attempts by some countries to create containment and alienation in the Indo-Pacific region which could threaten and jeopardise basic principles for regional cooperation, for example ASEAN centrality and ASEAN unity. Quad would be detrimental to the inclusive dialogue in the region, " Deputy Chief of the Russian mission Roman Babushkin was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.