Russia is interested in ensuring friendship between India and China and Moscow is trying to be “helpful” in this regard, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in New Delhi on Thursday. Responding to a question at the annual Raisina Dialogue, Mr. Lavrov cautioned against ‘outside players’ and said Russia would like India and China to meet more often as the Russia-India-China trilateral has been in existence since the days of his predecessor, Yevgeny Primakov.
“We never make friends against somebody. We have excellent relation with India and excellent relation with China. The India-Russia relation is characterised in official documents signed by two leaders as specially privileged strategic partnership. This is what we believe is reflecting the reality. We are interested in these two great nations to be friends and we are trying to be helpful,” said Mr. Lavrov.
The Russian Minister recollected that the RIC — Russia, India, China — trilateral was created during the tenure of the late Yevgeny Primakov when Russia took the initiative to bring the three sides together.
“We met last year and we are going to meet [again] at ministerial level this year,” said Mr. Lavrov. The RIC is a regular trilateral that meets at the government and non-government levels, covering experts in trade, technology, civil society and media.
“My feeling is the more they meet, the better and RIC is a platform for India and China in our presence — because they might not feel themselves comfortable being one on one all the time — to find some additional common ground. BRICS is another platform and we strongly supported India joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, including from the point of view of providing another place where India and China can cooperate together and can look for common solutions. We will continue this policy,” said Mr. Lavrov.
“We never engage in playing any country against any other country,” he added.