Russia appreciates India for not supporting attempts to isolate it

New Delhi, Jul 5 (PTI) Russia appreciates India for not supporting attempts to isolate it in multilateral forums and that bilateral trade between the two countries are on an upswing, Russian Ambassador Denis Alipov said on Tuesday.

He also said that the idea of expansion of the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) received “principled support” at the grouping’s recent virtual summit but added that any haste in the matter could be counterproductive.

“It is necessary to think in detail about the principles, standards and procedures of such a process, which should be developed through debate and by consensus,” Alipov told Russian publication Sputnik.

The BRICS in its declaration following the summit on June 23 said it supports promoting discussions among the members on the expansion process, stressing that it should be on the basis of full consultation and consensus.

On Russia’s ties with India, he said the partnership “rests” on a deep strategic foundation, drawing its strengths not only from strong historical roots, but also on a similar vision of the future world order.

“We are grateful to New Delhi for its objective assessment of the Ukrainian events. Clearly, they understand the background of the present geopolitical and geo-economic situation…They see the destructive role of illegitimate restrictions in the genesis of the present global food and energy crisis,” he said.

Alipov said India does not support attempts to isolate Russia.

“India does not support attempts to isolate Russia in multilateral forums and is critical of the West’s wish to reduce the international agenda to the conflict in question, ignoring other key global and regional problems, which the West itself has exacerbated significantly,” Alipov said.

He said the pressure exerted by the West, “aggressively imposing its conditions about who one can and cannot be friends with, causes the rejection of such diktat”.

“At the same time, we must be realistic about what is happening: India is interested in developing cooperation with the rest of the world, including the US and Europe. National interests and the need to preserve strategic autonomy guide the Indians in their actions,” Alipov said.

His comments came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the state of global energy and food markets in the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis.

The two leaders also deliberated on ways to further encourage bilateral trade in agricultural goods, fertilisers and pharma products.

India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has been pressing for resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.

“I expect that despite the West’s sanctions against Russia, the positive dynamics of trade will continue,” Alipov said about India-Russia trade ties.