India and Russia on Wednesday dismissed a report that their annual summit wasn’t held this 12 months for the primary time in 20 years due to purported variations over the Indo-Pacific and Quad, with either side saying the meet was referred to as off as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.
Russian overseas minister Sergey Lavrov created a buzz in diplomatic circles by saying just lately that Western powers have been utilizing an “aggressive and devious” coverage to have interaction India “in anti-China video games by selling Indo-Pacific methods”.
Russian diplomats subsequently clarified that Moscow understands India’s inclusive imaginative and prescient of the Indo-Pacific primarily based on worldwide legislation, however has considerations concerning the Quadrilateral Safety Dialogue or Quad – a grouping that brings collectively India, Australia, Japan and the US – because it might jeopardise regional cooperation.
Responding to the report on the purported cause for the India-Russia Summit not being held this 12 months, exterior affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava mentioned in a quick assertion: “The India-Russia Annual Summit didn’t happen in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. This was a mutually agreed resolution between the 2 governments.
“Any imputation in any other case is fake and deceptive. Spreading false tales on necessary relationships is especially irresponsible.”
A press release issued by the Russian embassy quoted ambassador Nikolay Kudashev as saying that the summit was postponed “resulting from epidemiological causes”. The envoy described the report as “removed from actuality” and mentioned the “particular and privileged strategic partnership” with India is “progressing properly regardless of Covid-19”.
“Staying in shut contact with our Indian associates to work out new dates for the summit, postponed resulting from epidemiological causes. We’re assured that it is going to be held within the close to future, whereas Russian-Indian relations will proceed its additional growth,” Kudashev mentioned.
Throughout a media briefing on Monday, Kudashev had mentioned the pandemic “didn’t cease our bilateral engagements, though it will definitely affected the schedule of our contacts, together with the annual bilateral summit”.
The envoy had mentioned Russia now expects the summit “to be held in 2021 together with different necessary high-level occasions, together with civil and defence inter-governmental commissions”.