March 30, 2023

NEW DELHI: Amid the latest flare-up in the Ukraine crisis, Russia said Wednesday that while the sanctions imposed by the West will lead to fear and mistrust affecting, among other things, the international banking system, Moscow will look forward to go ahead with the implementation of its “big plans” in defence with India as the only country, which is “honest” in sharing the technology with it.
India has so far not condemned Russia’s actions and foreign minister S Jaishankar, while participating in a panel discussion in Paris Tuesday, said a lot of what’s happening on the Ukraine issue is derived from Nato expansion, along with post Soviet politics and Russia-West dynamics. At the EU Indo-Pacific ministerial hosted by France, Jaishankar sought to focus on the challenge posed by China to the “global commons” even as others like Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi slammed Russia for what the West sees as the country’s military adventurism against Ukraine.
While claiming that Moscow’s actions in recognising Ukraine’s breakaway regions are in line with international law, Russian charge d’affaires Roman Babushkin said India is playing “a vital role of a global power” in the Security Council and its activities fully reflect the “merit” of India-Russia strategic partnership. In a possible sign of things to come, even as he said Moscow still favoured dialogue to resolve the issue, Babushkin declared Russia was ready for any development.
“Russia and India take each other’s security interests and concerns very seriously. We have big plans in defence and we hope to implement all of these,” said Babushkin, while complimenting India for its “independent” policy. Babushkin was responding to queries related to any possibility of sanctions affecting Russia’s defence partnership with India, including the supply of S-400 air missile defence system.
India had earlier at the UNSC called for addressing the security concerns of all countries in a statement seen, along with its decision to abstain from a procedural vote, as favouring Russia. The two countries last year renewed a 10-year agreement for military-technical cooperation but India is also working closely with Moscow to deal with a dangerous security situation in Afghanistan.
“We welcome India’s independent and balanced position, which was declared in the UNSC. It reflects the Indian status of responsible global power. Our special and privileged strategic partnership is based on the unparalleled level of mutual understanding and trust as well as respect of mutual interests and concerns,” said Babushkin, who also described the US and EU fresh sanctions as boring.
Russia’s recognition of the sovereignty and independence of Donetsk and Luhansk “republics” has seen the Ukraine crisis reach a flashpoint though with the United States and European Union deciding to impose sanctions on Russia for what they believe is the beginning of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We strongly stand for the establishment of just and equal multipolarity with the central role of the UN and international law, and closely coordinating in this regard at all multilateral fora. The relations (with India) have become a strong factor of global peace and stability,” he added.
The diplomat claimed that Russian actions fully correspond to the international law “including the principle of self-determination, provided that free expression of the will of the people is the highest form of a democracy, which is also the case with Crimea”.

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