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 each side saying the meet was referred to as off because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Russian international 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 interact India “in anti-China games by promoting Indo-Pacific strategies”.
Russian diplomats subsequently clarified that Moscow understands India’s inclusive imaginative and prescient of the Indo-Pacific based mostly on worldwide regulation, however has considerations concerning the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad – a grouping that brings collectively India, Australia, Japan and the US – because it may jeopardise regional cooperation.
Responding to the report on the purported motive 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 choice 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 “due to epidemiological reasons”. The envoy described the report as “far from reality” and mentioned the “special and privileged strategic partnership” with India is “progressing well despite Covid-19”.
“Staying in close touch with our Indian friends to work out new dates for the summit, postponed due to epidemiological reasons. We are confident that it will be held in the near future, while Russian-Indian relations will continue its further development,” Kudashev mentioned.
During a media briefing on Monday, Kudashev had mentioned the pandemic “did not stop our bilateral engagements, although it eventually affected the schedule of our contacts, including the annual bilateral summit”.
The envoy had mentioned Russia now expects the summit “to be held in 2021 along with other important high-level events, including civil and defence inter-governmental commissions”.