Home / News / India /  India rejects Russian foreign minister's claims on the Indo-Pacific region

New Delhi: India on Friday rejected recent comments by the foreign minister of “Special and Privileged Strategic Partner" Russia that the Indo-Pacific was a ploy of Western countries to draw New Delhi into “in anti-China games."

India’s foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava in a carefully worded statement said that India had “long standing ties" with relations “characterized by a Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership."

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of our strategic partnership with Russia. Our relations with Russia stand on their own merits including in the sphere of Military Technical Cooperation," he said.

Drawing attention to a speech given by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to an international audience in Singapore in 2018, Srivastava said India had then stated clearly that it did not “see the Indo-Pacific region as a strategy or as a club of limited members or as a grouping that seeks to dominate."

“It is not directed against any country. It stands for a free, open and inclusive region," he said quoting from Modi’s speech delivered in June 2018.

“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," he said rejecting Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov’s contention that India was being drawn into joining a Western grouping against China.

“We hope that this is well understood and appreciated by all our partners," Srivastava said.

Since 2014 when it came under international sanctions for having annexed Crimea from Ukraine, Russia has drawn closer to China. Lavrov has on many occasions slammed the West for their support to the Indo-Pacific concept mainly on account of Moscow’s links with Beijing.

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