India and Russia on Wednesday dismissed a report that their annual summit wasn’t held this 12 months for the primary time in twenty years due to purported variations over the Indo-Pacific and Quad, with each side saying the meet was known as off as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.
Russian overseas minister Sergey Lavrov created a buzz in diplomatic circles by saying not too long ago that Western powers had 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 regulation, however has issues in regards to 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 stated in a quick assertion: “The India-Russia Annual Summit didn’t happen in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. This was a mutually agreed choice between the 2 governments.
“Any imputation in any other case is fake and deceptive. Spreading false tales on essential relationships is especially irresponsible.”
An announcement issued by the Russian embassy quoted ambassador Nikolay Kudashev as saying that the summit was postponed “because of epidemiological causes”. The envoy described the report as “removed from actuality” and stated the “particular and privileged strategic partnership” with India is “progressing effectively regardless of Covid-19”.
“Staying in shut contact with our Indian associates to work out new dates for the summit, postponed because of epidemiological causes. We’re assured that it will likely be held within the close to future, whereas Russian-Indian relations will proceed its additional improvement,” Kudashev stated.
Throughout a media briefing on Monday, Kudashev had stated 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 stated Russia now expects the summit “to be held in 2021 together with different essential high-level occasions, together with civil and defence inter-governmental commissions”.