There were a lot of speculations when the news of Russian soldiers landing in Pakistan for their first ever joint military drill was out. The word in the street was that Russia is making India pay for its romance with the United States of America.
Also, it was circulated widely that Russia hasn’t taken LEMOA kindly. LEMOA in a way strengthens the ‘US Pivot to Asia’ and makes us a frontline state in the battle to contain China and further expand US influence in Asia.
But looks like those were just speculations.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Russian Ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin said that the Russian Federation was the only country to say in plain words that terrorists come from Pakistan. And what particularly strikes is the ambassador’s categorical stand that India had been wronged and hence it was totally justified to take retaliatory action.
“The greatest human rights violations take place when terrorists attack military installations and attack peaceful civilians in India. We welcome the surgical strike. Every country has right to defend itself,” he said
Reassuring India that it does not need to worry about Russia-Pakistan joint military exercise, he pointed out that the exercises didn’t take place in the “Pakistan-occupied Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”.
The Russian envoy further said that “India should not be concerned about military exercises between Russia and Pakistan because the theme of the exercise is anti-terror fighting. It’s in India’s interests that we teach the Pakistani Army not to use itself for terror attacks against India. And the exercise was not held in any sensitive or problematic territories like the Pakistan-occupied Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”.
But we mustn’t take Russia’s confirmation of confidence in the India-Russia relations for grated and Modi must actively try to strengthen the bonds. The friendship with Russia and USA becomes a tightrope walk in the wake of the fall off between USA and Russia over Syria. Modi has had countless meetings with the US president Barack Obama, however the Indian prime minister has only met Putin twice apart from formal handshakes at international conferences.
Narendra Modi will be meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin when he visits India in the next fortnight. On the sidelines of the Brics Summit in Goa, Modi and Putin will hold an India-Russia Summit. And he must seize the opportunity.
We welcome Russia’s stand on cross border terrorism and congratulate President Putin for the bold stance of naming and shaming Pakistan.