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Russia Interested In Making India And China ‘Friends’: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov In Delhi

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Friday said Moscow has friendly ties with both New Delhi and Beijing, and the grouping of RIC (Russia-India-China) will be meeting soon. Lavrov is on a three-day visit to India to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting that took place on March 2. He also met held a bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

“We never make friends against somebody. We have excellent relations with China and we have excellent relations with India … We are interested in these two great nations be friends and we are trying to help,” Lavrov said at the Raisina Dialogue organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).

He said it was from RIC that the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). “You may not be hearing about BRICS but the troika (of RIC) continues to function. We (RIC) met last year and we will be meeting this year again,” he said. “My feeling that the more they (RIC) meet the better. The RIC is a platform where India and China in our presence, because they might not feel comfortable one-on-one,” Lavrov said, adding that Russia does not become partners with one country at the behest of others. He said “other players” are trying to put India and China against each other in the context of the Indo-Pacific strategy, which he said has been designed to convert the Quad into a military alliance of sorts. When the India-China military standoff began in April-May 2020 that resulted in the Galwan clash when India lost 20 soldiers, it was Moscow that organised a meeting of the RIC, making it easier for External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and then Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi to come up with a so-called ‘Moscow Agreeement’ to resolve the border standoff. ‘War Was Launched Against Us’ On Russia’s energy policy has undergone a complete transformation due to the Russia-Ukraine war, Lavrov said: “The war which was launched against us, and which we are trying to stop, using the Ukrainian people influenced Russia, including its energy policy.” He said when it comes to energy cooperation, Russia will “never rely anymore on any partners in the West". "We would not allow them to blow pipelines,” Lavrov said. “The energy policy of Russia will be oriented towards reliable partners and credible partners - India and China are certainly among them.” He also said Seymour Hersh published his investigations and “Germany was humiliated”. Hersh is a journalist who claimed that the Nord Stream pipelines were destroyed by the US, which America dismissed. “Every action is being done by US to reduce Europe, to undercut Europe, to ruin Russia-Europe ties. So be it,” said Lavrov. NATO Violated Commitments Lavrov once again blamed NATO too for violating agreements that led to the Ukraine war. “There was no delivery on oral commitments, no delivery on written commitments and no delivery on legally binding commitments, All this was accompanied by NATO instructors beefing up the Ukrainian army and sending weapons to Ukraine,” he said. He added: “We defended our security, We defended our people who had been denied the right by (President Volodymyr) Zelenskyy to use the Russian language in culture, in media, in legislation, in everything.” He said the West made it their sole objective to impose the “strategic defeat” on Russia. He added that this plan was designed by US President Joe Biden, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg and EU Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell. Lavrov also came down heavily on the G20 and said the grouping never discussed war before, until it was Russia that became the centre of the controversy. “Did the G20 ever, in its declarations, reflect the situation in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan or Yugoslavia? Nobody was giving a damn about anything except finance and macroeconomic policy, which is what G20 was formed for. These days, when Russia has after many years of warnings, started to defend itself, there is nothing but Ukraine that is of interest to the G20. That’s a shame," he stressed. The Russian minister also said it is Ukrainian President Zelenskyy who does not want to negotiate to resolve the crisis until it “wins in the battlefield".


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