Russia today said its recent military exercises with Pakistan had not affected the preparation for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s India visit this week.
“The Indian partners did not link in any way their concerns (over military exercises with Pakistan) with the president’s visit,” Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov was quoted as saying by Russia’s state-run TASS news agency.
He made the remarks in response to a question about “whether the recent Russia-Pakistan military exercises in the zone considered by India as a disputed territory had affected the preparation of the Russian leader’s visit”.
Russian President Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks in Goa on Saturday, ahead of the BRICS Summit.
The Kremlin aide said that apart from the bilateral agenda, “the Russian and Indian leaders would discuss the situation in Syria, Afghanistan and other countries, and also the fight against terrorism”.
Putin and Modi will also discuss cooperation in nuclear power engineering and military-technical cooperation, he said.
Ahead of their annual bilateral Summit, India had conveyed its opposition to Russia over its joint exercise with Pakistan, a nation which “sponsors and practises terrorism as a matter of State policy”, saying it will create further problems.
“We have conveyed our views to the Russian side that military cooperation with Pakistan which is a state that sponsors and practises terrorism as a matter of state policy is a wrong approach and it will only create further problems,” Indian Ambassador to Moscow Pankaj Saran had said in an interview to Russian news agency Ria Novosti.