February 29, 2024


Over the past 18 months, India has emerged as one of the largest importers of Russian oil. (File)

New Delhi:

The Russian envoy to India, Denis Alipov, said on Saturday while his country remains New Delhi’s “reliable and time-tested friend”, the US is trying to threaten the relationship with sanctions.

“In India, Russia enjoys a solid reputation as a reliable, sincere, well-intentioned, time-tested friend. Such an image was initially shaped due to the major contribution of the USSR to Indian socio-economic development, and it largely persists to this day,” he said.

In an interview with the RT news agency, the Russian envoy added, “US officials who come here do not hesitate to directly state that they are pursuing the goal of tearing New Delhi away from Moscow. They are even making threats with secondary sanctions. Some Indian partners are forced to exercise caution, sometimes, frankly speaking, excessively, but there are also a significant number of those for whom such an approach is unacceptable.”

Highlighting the growing bilateral ties, the Russian envoy said, “Our ties continue to steadily expand in a wide range of areas according to our converging national interests. But unlike our Western partners, we have never conditioned cooperation on politics, have not interfered in domestic affairs, and have always maintained mutually respectful and trusted relationships. Therefore, even now we mainly see a growing desire to keep working together and finding ways to overcome well-known impediments caused by destructive unilateral approaches.”

“It should be noted that over the recent years the number of such contacts has increased manifold, and they are becoming more and more meaningful, including distributing information detailing the economic and investment potential and promising areas for interaction. It is indicative that the current bilateral trade turnover, which at the end of 2023 may exceed $60 billion, is several times higher than the pre-sanctions figures,” he added.

Alipov also called for urgent reforms of the United Nations and agencies under it while making a strong case for the inclusion of India as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

“We are of the view that India as a permanent member of the Security Council could make a significant contribution to promoting balance as well as an agenda focused on the interests of the world majority, primarily the countries of the Global South,” the Russian envoy said.

India and Russia have maintained a robust strategic partnership, rooted in historical ties and shared interests, over decades. Central to this relationship is extensive defence cooperation, with Russia serving as a major supplier of military equipment to India and both nations engaging in joint military exercises, co-development of advanced military platforms, and technology transfers, according to the Russian news agency.

More recently, energy collaboration has become another strong pillar of bilateral ties. The Kudankulam nuclear power plant (KNPP), India’s largest, is being built in Tamil Nadu with technical assistance provided by Moscow.

Russia’s expertise in nuclear technology has been instrumental in advancing India’s capabilities, fostering a mutually beneficial partnership, according to RT. The two countries have pledged to deepen their nuclear cooperation, recognizing its strategic importance for energy security and technological advancement.

Over the past 18 months, India has emerged as one of the largest importers of Russian oil–a stand New Delhi has had to defend on many occasions from accusations by Western media, and even some political leaders, of funding ‘Russia’s war’ with Ukraine.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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