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Raisina Dialogue | Indo-Pacific a divisive concept: Sergey Lavrov

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov addresses during Raisina Dialogue 2020, in New Delhi.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov addresses during Raisina Dialogue 2020, in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Russian Foreign Minister said the ‘Indo-Pacific’ was attempt to move from an Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) centered consensus building model.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday slammed the Western idea of a ‘rules based world order’ while questioning the idea behind the concept of ‘Indo-Pacific’, which he said was an attempt to “reconfigure the existing structures.”

“Why do you need to call Asian Pacific as Indo-Pacific? The answer is evident… to exclude China. Terminology should be unifying, not divisive. Neither Shangai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) nor the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) grouping is exclusionary,” Mr. Lavrov said adding that “our Indians friends are smart enough to understand that.” He was speaking at the ongoing Raisina Dialogue jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation. “We should be careful of terminology which looks very benign but is something else. Its an attempt to reconfigure existing structures,” he cautioned.

The concept of Indo-Pacific has gained ground in the last few years and has been a focus area for India too. Mr. Lavrov said the ‘Indo-Pacific’ was attempt to move from an Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) centered consensus building model. He added that Russia appreciates ASEAN and India's position that the Indo-Pacific strategy is inclusive and not meant to contain any country.

Stating that new centers of economic might, political influence are emerging and India is one of them, Mr. Lavrov said the G7 “can’t decide everything” while pitching for the G20 grouping which he said was a “workable organisation.”

Russia has repeatedly reiterated their position that India and Brazil along with an African country should be a permanent member in the United Nations Security Council.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 3:10:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indo-pacific-a-divisive-concept-sergey-lavrov/article30572634.ece

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