Amidst concerns over growing proximity between Russia and Pakistan, India said today its relation with Moscow is on a “different pedestal” and there is a clear understanding of each other’s “core concerns” and vital security interests. Ahead of a summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin tomorrow, Indian Ambassador to Russia Pankaj Saran told PTI India’s relations with Russia are independent of its ties with Pakistan. “Our relation with Russia is on a different pedestal and we have a full agenda between us that is important to both of us. We have clear understanding of our core concerns and vital security interests,” he said.
India’s traditional ties with Russia dating back to the days of Soviet Union have been complicated by Moscow’s growing economic and political alliances with China and Pakistan. India had also conveyed to Russia its unhappiness over military cooperation with Pakistan. Last year, after the Uri terror strike by Pakistan-based terrorists, Saran had told Russian news agency Ria Novosti that “We have conveyed our views to the Russian side that military cooperation with Pakistan which is a State that sponsors and practices terrorism as a matter of State policy is a wrong approach and it will only create further problems.”
Talking to PTI ahead of the 18th summit between India and Russia, Saran also referred to the personal chemistry Modi and Putin share. “There is a lot of mutual trust and personal chemistry between the two leaders that has developed over the last three years,” the Indian envoy said. At their bilateral meeting tomorrow, “the leaders will take stock of the current relationship and discuss a blueprint for a vision of the future,” he said.