Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 11
India on Friday hit out at both Russia and China for recent observations by their Foreign Offices on the Indo-Pacific and tensions on the line of actual control (LAC), respectively.
India also countered Chinese claims on cancellation of a joint issue of a postage stamp to commemorate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
“India has always pursued an independent foreign policy based on its national interest. India’s relationship with each country is independent of its relations with third countries. We hope that this is well understood and appreciated by all our partners,” said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s comments on India earlier this week.
Speaking in the context of Quad, Lavrov had said the West was drawing India into anti-China games as part of a “persistent, aggressive and devious policy”.
The West was also attempting to undermine Russia’s close partnership and privileged relations with India.
The MEA assured that India’s ties with Russia stand on their own merits including in the sphere of military technical cooperation (MTC), an area identified by Lavrov as being targeted by the West.
At the same time, it said India does not see the Indo-Pacific region as a strategy or as a club of limited members or as a grouping that seeks to dominate.
The MEA also rebutted its Chinese counterpart’s charge of India being responsible for the tense stand-off on a part of the LAC.
Srivastava said contrary to the Chinese MFA’s claims, the situation for the last six months is due to Chinese actions to unilaterally change the status along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.
The core issue remains that both sides need to strictly follow the various bilateral agreements and protocols in their entirety which requires no amassing of troops.
Srivastava said the Indian expectation is that further discussions will help both sides to achieve an agreement on complete disengagement in all friction points.
India also rebutted claims by the Chinese embassy that Beijing had cancelled the joint release of commemorative stamps to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations because no feedback was given by the Indian side.
As the launch of the 70th anniversary celebrations has not taken place, the issue of going ahead with joint activities under its ambit does not arise, said Srivastava.