India's close and time-tested relations with Russia stand on their own merit and are not influenced by Moscow's relations with other countries, said the government on Thursday. Speaking at the weekly press briefing, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: "India's close, time tested and strategic relations with Russia stand on their own merit and are not influenced by relations with other countries."
Speaking on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's visit to India, the MEA spokesperson said: "The visit of the Russian Foreign Minister was a good opportunity to renew and review our privileged partnership. A broad range of issues were discussed." Bagchi, however, did not comment on Russia's supply of defence equipment to Pakistan.
Lavrov recently embarked on a two-day visit to India. According to the MEA, the visit provided a unique opportunity to discuss important aspects of bilateral ties, review preparations for the next India-Russia annual summit and discuss regional and international issues of mutual interest. He also held delegation-level talks with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar.
"Our bilateral cooperation remains energetic and forward-looking. We talked about the longstanding partnership in the nuclear space and defence sectors. We assess positively our economic cooperation noting new opportunities in the Russian far east. We spoke of connectivity including the International North-South Transport Corridor and Chennai-Vladivostok Maritime Corridor," Jaishankar said. During his visit, Lavrov had said that he did not discuss the issue of US pressure or sanctions on the sale of S-400 to India, adding that if Washington puts pressure on any country, we know there will be a reciprocal reaction.