Russia is hopeful that India and China will be able to find ways to resolve differences on the border issue and normalise ties based on mutual respect of sensitive interests, Russian envoy Denis Alipov said on Monday.
The ambassador, speaking at an event, touched upon various aspects of India-Russia engagement and noted that both sides are focusing on creating favourable conditions for mutual trade settlements, payment systems and insurance with a larger aim of boosting trade.
“We are hopeful that India and China, as major civilisations possessing unique political wisdom, will find ways to achieve progress in the border issue and a normalisation of bilateral ties based on mutual respect of sensitive interests,” Mr Alipov said.
The Indian and Chinese troops are locked in an over three-and-half-years confrontation in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh even as the two sides completed disengagement from several areas following extensive diplomatic and military talks.
Mr Alipov said India and Russia are looking at diversifying trade and address the issue of huge trade imbalances.
The trade imbalance is in favour of Russia following significant increase in India’s procurement of Russian crude oil since 2021. India’s export to Russia has not seen any major upswing.
“We are aimed at diversifying bilateral trade and correcting its imbalances, which are huge,” Mr Alipov said.
The Russian envoy said there is “untapped potential” to expand the trade basket between the two sides and invited Indian business entities to explore the Russian market.
The ambassador said despite “challenging circumstances”, Russia-India relations remain multi-dimensional and robust, adding “there is no doubt that they will continue to grow based on unequivocal mutual interest and trust, contributing to our shared vision of a more fair and just international order.”
Mr Alipov also spoke about cooperation under the framework of BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) and referred to the grouping’s expansion.
Russia took over presidency of BRICS on January 1 for a period of one year.
“We extensively collaborate in the BRICS format. The expansion of this grouping, along with more than 30 states (wanting) to join it in various capacities, clearly displays the growing aspirations for a multipolar world based on sovereign equality and mutual respect as stipulated by the UN Charter,” Mr Alipov said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on January 1 that the grouping has become a 10-nation body now with Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joining it as new members.
To a question on Pakistan’s application for a membership of the BRICS, Mr Alipov said: “We are now focused on accommodating those who were invited last year”.
With Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa as its members, BRICS represents a quarter of the global economy and it has been a major engine of global economic growth over the years.
Mr Alipov said the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) also can contribute to strengthening connectivity in Eurasian region.
“The integration processes have accelerated in the Eurasian space, where the SCO occupies a unique place as a platform for an increasing number of countries that consider it vital for countering emerging security challenges and promoting inter-regional economic cooperation,” he said.
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