NEW DELHI: Russia has come out in support of India’s move earlier this week to revoke a provision of its constitution and integrate Jammu and Kashmir more closely with the rest of the country.
In doing so, Moscow has become the first among the permanent members of the UN Security Council to formally state that abrogation of Article 370 is an internal matter for India. The position of Moscow is seen as a boost for India. In the past three or four years Russia has been making overtures to Pakistan, something unthinkable till recently given the close ties between New Delhi and Moscow especially during the Cold War years when Pakistan was seen as the US’ ally. At that time, the former Soviet Union used to bail India out when the Kashmir issue was brought onto the UNSC agenda by casting a veto on any resolution aimed at chastising or penalising New Delhi.
In its statement issued on Friday, the Russian foreign ministry also called for resolving all Indo-Pak differences based on the Shimla agreement and the Lahore declaration.
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on Friday, “Moscow expects that India and Pakistan will not allow aggravation of the situation in the region due to the change by Delhi in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir."
“We proceed from the fact that the changes associated with the change in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and its division into two union territories are carried out within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of India. We hope that the parties involved will not allow a new aggravation of the situation in the region as a result of the decisions," the Russian statement said.