Tamil Nadu

‘China need not be a sticking point in relationship between India and Russia’

N. Ram, Oleg Avdeev, M. Ganapathi and Vijesh Kumar Garg at the event on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan

India’s problems with China and Russia’s strong ties with China need not be a sticking point in the bilateral relationship between India and Russia, former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, M. Ganapathi said on Wednesday.

Addressing a panel discussion on “India-Russia special and privileged strategic partnership”, organised by the Consulate General of Russia in Tamil Nadu, in the backdrop of the recent visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to New Delhi, he said the visit had allayed many fears raised by a section of critics and analysts over the bilateral relations.

Highlighting that every country acted to protect their supreme national interest, he said Russia maintained an excellent relationship with China for the same reason. Russia’s relationship with China should not affect the strong Indo-Russian relationship, just as the development of a relationship between India and the U.S. should not be a sticking point between India and Russia, he said.

He said Mr. Putin’s visit took place in the background of uninformed speculation and negative reports, some of which were over the top, on the difficulties in bilateral relations. However, the outcome of the visit has allayed many such fears, he said.

On the media coverage

N. Ram, director, The Hindu Publishing Group, said media coverage preceding Mr. Putin’s visit was largely superficial, with a tendency to see things in black and white, without going into the nuances. They lacked substantive content, he said.

Speculations that India is moving towards the U.S., and therefore its relationship with Russia will turn cold, have proven to be unfounded, he said. The relationship between India and Russia is clearly strong and robust, with very few conflicts of interest, Mr. Ram said. Despite all the issues between India and China, bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to cross USD 100 billion in 2021, he said.

Oleg Avdeev, Consul General of the Russian Federation in South India, said the symbolism of Mr. Putin’s visit could not be downplayed, as it was only his second trip abroad since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the Bilateral Treaty on Peace, Friendship and Cooperation between the two countries. While the world has undergone fundamental changes in the last five decades, the friendship between Russia and India has remained a constant. The proposed Chennai-Vladivostok Maritime Corridor will help expand the economy of Tamil Nadu and south India at large, he said.

Commodore (retired) Vijesh Kumar Garg, executive director, Chennai Centre for China Studies, recalled the support provided by Russia during the Indo-Pak war of 1971. Pointing to the strong defence cooperation between the two countries, he said Russia was also always willing to transfer technology to India.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 5:33:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/china-need-not-be-a-sticking-point-in-relationship-between-india-and-russia/article37905577.ece

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