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Opinion

Summit suspended due to Covid, by mutual agreement, highlight India and Russia

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India and Russia on Wednesday rejected a report that their annual summit was not held this year for the first time in two decades due to alleged differences between the Indo-Pacific and Quad, with both sides saying the meeting was canceled due to Covid. -19 pandemic.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov created a stir in diplomatic circles by recently saying that Western powers were using an “aggressive and devious” policy to engage India “in anti-China games promoting Indo-Pacific strategies.” .

Russian diplomats later clarified that Moscow understands India’s inclusive vision of the Indo-Pacific based on international law, but is concerned about the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, a grouping that brings together India, Australia, Japan and the US. As it could jeopardize the region’s cooperation.

In response to the report on the alleged reason why the India-Russia Summit was not held this year, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in a short statement: “The Annual India-Russia Summit did not take place in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. This was a mutually agreed decision between the two governments.

“Any allegation to the contrary is false and misleading. Spreading false stories about important relationships is particularly irresponsible. ”

A statement issued by the Russian embassy quoted Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev as saying that the summit was postponed “for epidemiological reasons.” The envoy described the report as “far from reality” and said that the “special and privileged strategic partnership” with India is “progressing well despite Covid-19”.

“Stay in close contact with our Indian friends to define new dates for the summit, postponed for epidemiological reasons. We are confident that it will take place in the near future, while Russian-Indian relations will continue to develop, ”said Kudashev.

During a press conference on Monday, Kudashev said the pandemic “did not stop our bilateral commitments, although it did eventually affect the timing of our contacts, including the annual bilateral summit.”

The envoy had said that Russia now expects the summit “to be held in 2021 in conjunction with other important high-level events, including defense and civil intergovernmental commissions.”

Hindustan Times

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