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India aserts it follows an independent foreign policy after Lavrov’s comment

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment that this is not an era of war has received global acceptance and even found its way into the G20 declaration, said India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj in New York (Image courtesy: Twitter/@IndiaUNNewYork)

A few hours after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that the US-led NATO wanted to “draw India into anti-Chinese and anti-Russian alliances”, the Narendra Modi-led government has made it clear that India is a country that “stands tall and proud on its own” having a “clear and consistent” stand on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Addressing media on European security issues in Moscow on Thursday, Lavrov mentioned that “everyone understands perfectly well” that following Europe, the US-led NATO is “trying to create explosive situations” in the Indo-Pacific region.

“They wanted to draw India into anti-Chinese and anti-Russian alliances, but she refused to join structures that would have the character of a military-political bloc. New Delhi is only involved in economic projects promoted in the context of the Indo-Pacific strategies,” said the Russian Foreign Minister.

Later in the day, while briefing journalists on the occasion of India Assuming UNSC Presidency for December in faraway New York, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj affirmed New Delhi’s stance once again while responding to a question on the comments made by Lavrov.

“I’ll put it this way, India is too big a country. It stands tall and proud on its own,” said Kamboj.

The Ambassador amplified India’s viewpoint further saying that, in the course of the conflict in Ukraine, the Modi government has been very clear and consistent right from the outset, having spoken in one voice for peace, favouring diplomacy and dialogue.

“Our Prime Minister is speaking to both sides. Our foreign minister is speaking to both sides. We are among the few countries, dare I say, which is speaking to both sides. Our Prime Minister’s comments that this is not an era of war has received global acceptance and incidentally even found its way into the G20 declaration that was recently adopted in Bali,” she said.

Spotlighting India’s humanitarian and financial assistance to Ukraine, which includes 12 medical consignments and funds to build educational institutions, Kamboj said that India also has a “important relationship” with Russia.

“And as far as the relationship with the United States is concerned, it’s a comprehensive strategic partnership, which has never been closer, tighter or stronger than it is today,” she added.

Being “a voice of reason and a bridge builder”, India said that it will “walk the talk” and continue to engage with all parties during its December Presidency of the UN Security Council.

“I just will segue a little bit and draw your attention to what our Prime Minister has said in the context of India’s G20 presidency, that India will work towards unity. And when we say that the world is one, we mean that humankind is one and we are there to help each other,” commented Kamboj.

Lavrov, during his presser in Moscow on Thursday, had accused NATO of actively expanding its activities in the post-Soviet space, announcing claims to the Indo-Pacific region and also Central Asia.

“Given the rhetoric coming from the EU, the US, Australia, Canada, the UK, the South China Sea is turning into one of the regions where NATO is not averse to escalating tensions, as they once did in Ukraine,” he said.

He also mentioned Russia’s partners, including India, while answering European concerns about energy security.

“It’s not about getting more revenue for your oil today, but about moving on to building a system independent of these neo-colonial methods. We are doing this with our BRICS colleagues and with a dozen countries that want to closely coordinate actions with BRICS, in the SCO, the EAEU, in bilateral relations with China, Iran, India and other countries,” he said.

“When we are negotiating with China, India, Turkey and other major buyers, there is always an element of balance of interests in terms of time, volume and price. This should be decided on a mutual basis between the producer and the consumer, and not some ‘uncle’ who decided to punish someone,” added the Russian Foreign Minister.

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