The Russian Foreign Minister described India as a “very close, very special and privileged partner”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has responded to the newly released declassified US strategic framework for the Indo-Pacific region, stating that this development will not hamper the special partnerships between India and Russia.

According to a report by WION, regarding Russia’s concerns on the Indo-Pacific strategy, particularly on the "undermining the central role of ASEAN in the Asia-Pacific region", Lavrov said he expected India to move in a constructive and positive way.

He also recalled discussing this issue with ‘good friend’, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

According to the report, Lavrov described India as a “very close, very special and privileged partner”, and said Moscow shares a close partnership with India.

The Indo-Pacific vision is backed by India and Washington, along with other countries like Japan and Australia.

FM Lavrov also mentioned that his previous statements on the Indo-Pacific issue were discussed in India by media which are not very friendly towards the Indian Government. He asserted that there should be no space for misunderstandings with Indian people who he termed as “our friends”.

In December, the Russian Foreign Minister had said, "India is currently an object of the Western countries’ persistent, aggressive and devious policy" on the "anti-China games by promoting Indo-Pacific strategies," something that was seen as harsh criticism, according to the WION report.

However, he did reiterate Russian views on the Indo-Pacific, and reaffirmed the long-standing Moscow-New Delhi ties.

He also referred to India as "very close, very strategic, very special, and very privileged partner".

The Russian Foreign Minister also quoted examples of different industries including innovation, military-technical and High-Tech cooperation and said that India is one of Russia’s closest partners on all these fronts.

Sharing his views on the current Indo-China standoff, “We are doing our part to ensure that India and China, our two great friends live in peace with each other”, said Lavrov.

Read the full report by WION