New Delhi, Jun 12 (PTI) Russia deeply cherishes its “equal and respectful” relations with India, and the multidimensional cooperation between the two strategic partners is among the world’s “most elaborate” ones, Russian Ambassador Denis Alipov has said.
The envoy has also said the positions of the two countries on “core issues remain similar or coinciding” and that there are plenty of new opportunities for the Indian business in the Russian market, especially against the backdrop of the withdrawal of many western companies from the country.
A significant number of western business entities are leaving Russia over its attack on Ukraine as well as the subsequent economic sanctions imposed against it by the United States and Europe.
In a foreword in the Russia Digest magazine on the occasion of the 75th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Russia, Alipov said both sides are for upholding the central role of the United Nations (UN) towards “just and equal multipolarity” and “opposing unilateral and confrontational approaches”.
He said Russia and India continue to successfully implement flagship initiatives, which make the cooperation “unparalleled”.
Among those, the envoy said are the Kudankulam nuclear power plant project in Tamil Nadu, the AK-203 rifles manufacturing programme and the production of the main battle tanks as well as frigates, submarines and Brahmos missiles.
He also said the delivery of S-400 air defence missile systems to India is proceeding well in accordance with the schedule.
“Russia deeply cherishes equal and respectful relations with India. Our cooperation plays the role of a defining factor for global peace, stability and sustainable development,” Alipov said.
“We are confident in the future of our bilateral ties and are ready to move forward in utilising their potential and exploring new horizons for the benefit of the people of our two friendly nations,” he added.
Alipov’s comments came in the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. India is yet to condemn the Russian action and has pressed for the resolution of the crisis through dialogue.
Referring to 75 years of the India-Russia ties, Alipov said both countries succeeded in building a “true friendship and mutual trust” in these years.
“Today’s Russia-India multidimensional cooperation is one of the world’s most elaborate ones with regular meetings of the two intergovernmental commissions, sector-wise ministerial, security advisors’ and senior officials’ dialogue, foreign office consultations and coordination in the global arena,” he said.
The envoy said Russia and India were among the first countries in the world to establish the practice of annual bilateral summits.
“Our positions on core issues remain similar or coinciding, stressing the need to uphold the central role of the United Nations towards just and equal multipolarity and opposing unilateral and confrontational approaches,” Alipov said.
He said both India and Russia continue close coordination on the agenda of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) as well as G20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
“With the increased volumes of bilateral trade by more than 45 per cent in 2021, this positive trend is supplemented in 2022 by intensified cooperation in energy and fertilisers,” Alipov said.
He said priority is being given to the implementation of the North-South transport corridor project and an early conclusion of the free trade pact between the Eurasian Economic Union and India.
“Along with ongoing projects in connectivity, diamond processing, healthcare, tourism, railways, metallurgy, civil aviation, shipbuilding, oil refinery and petrochemicals, there are plenty of new opportunities for the Indian business in the Russian market, especially against the backdrop of withdrawal of many western companies,” Alipov said.
He also said Russia will strive to “strengthen international peace and ensure global security and stability with a view to establishing a fair and democratic international system that addresses global issues on the basis of collective decision-making, the rule of international law, indivisible security and the generally accepted principles of equal rights, mutual respect and non-interference in domestic affairs”.