Normalisation of India-China relations better for the world; weak Pakistan would not be better for the region, says Russian envoy

Deliveries of third S-400 regiment completed, committed to completing the deal, Denis Alipov said

Published - February 06, 2023 09:31 pm IST

Russian Ambassador to India DenisAlipov speaks during the forum discussion, in New Delhi on Monday.

Russian Ambassador to India DenisAlipov speaks during the forum discussion, in New Delhi on Monday. | Photo Credit: ANI

The sooner there is normalisation in India-China relations, the better it would be for the world, Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov said, adding that a weak Pakistan would not be better for the region, India or Afghanistan, and Russia would not do anything detrimental to India in its relations with Islamabad. Mr. Alipov acknowledged that India-Russia ties have been under stress for sometime in terms of economic ties, which had accelerated since last year due to the “tectonic geopolitical” shifts in Europe, referring to the war in Ukraine.

The envoy said that Russia had completed deliveries of the third regiment of the S-400 Triumf air defence system and reiterated that they were committed to completing the deal on schedule. India contracted for a five S-400 regiments in a $5.43 billion deal signed in October 2018.

“We always have our relations with India in the background when we talk of our relations with Pakistan, especially on defence,” Mr. Alipov said, speaking at a seminar on 30 years of the India-Russia friendship treaty organised by India Writes Network and the Centre for Global India Insights.. “We have maintained consistently that we will never do anything detrimental to India in our relations with Pakistan. We strangle our defence cooperation with Pakistan because it will impact our relations with India.”

“We have limited defence relationship with Islamabad, very limited, to counter-terrorism,” Mr. Alipov said, while adding that Russia wanted to expand its economic partnership with Pakistan.

“We don’t think a weak Pakistan would be a better choice for the region, for India or Afghanistan,” the envoy said, and further clarified, “Meaning, destabilised Pakistan is not in the interests of any in the region. A strong anti-India Pakistan cannot be in the interest of any, particularly India.”

To a question from The Hindu on reports of Pakistan supplying military equipment to Ukraine in the ongoing war, Mr. Alipov said, “I can assure that we have taken very close notice of those reports.”

On India-China relations and the ongoing standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), he said Russia would like to see the normalisation of relations that would benefit the whole world. “We understand there are serious impediments to that, very serious border problem between the two countries,” he said, referring to Russia’s own border conflict with China, which he said took them around 40 years to resolve, but ultimately, “to compromise” is the only way.

“It is not for us to say what India and China should do. It is entirely a bilateral matter between them. The sooner there is a normalisation between the two countries, the better for the whole world,” Mr. Alipov said, adding that Russia would play a part only if invited.

Referring to concerns in India over the “unlimited partnership” between Russia-China, Mr. Alipov said, “We have very close cooperation with the Chinese. But we will never be a junior partner to China or anyone else.”

On the India-Russia bilateral relationship, he said the economic partnership had made impressive progress. “In 2022, mutual trade broke record of $30 billion. Surely, it happened due to a 36-fold increase in Russian oil supplies, which now constitute 25% of Indian imports, making Russia the biggest crude exporter to India,” Mr. Alipov said.

Talking of the longstanding cooperation in defence and transfer of technology between the two countries, the Russian envoy said they did not mix technology transfer with politics, in a dig at the U.S. Further, he said the U.S. was good at advertising, including “the poor performance of Russian weapons in Ukraine”, he quipped.

On the issue of payments as Russia not part of the global SWIFT system, Mr. Alipov said they had created Vostro accounts and the Rupee-Ruble payment system was in place, but Indian banks had been too cautious as they were worried about Western sanctions.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.