Sino-Indian military face-off in Ladakh worries Russia. (AFP Photo)
New Delhi: Russia on Monday finally broke its silence, saying it was "worried" over the ongoing Sino-Indian military face-off in the Ladakh sector but expressed confidence the two Asian giants would peacefully resolve the problem.
Russian Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in Delhi Roman Babushkin told a TV channel, "Of course, we are worried with the current situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). However, as we know, there are dedicated specific mechanisms developed by both countries (India and China) including hotlines and special representatives’ dialogue and even informal summits. We are confident that the India and Chinese friends are duly equipped to find a way out for mutual satisfaction. We would encourage every endeavour in this regard".
It may be recalled that Russia has been a time-tested friend of India and a key defence supplier for several decades both as a separate nation from 1991-92 onwards and also in its earlier ‘avatar’ as the Soviet Union and continues to be a key strategic partner.
In recent years however, it has been somewhat miffed over India’s growing strategic proximity to the United States. However, the Indian Government has made every effort to maintain strong ties with Russia and Moscow remains a close friend. Russia is also a permanent member of the UN Security Council along with China and also has close ties with Beijing.
India had last week said it remained firm in its resolve on the borders to ensure its security and national sovereignty but had added that it is engaged with the Chinese side both at the diplomatic and military level to peacefully resolve the border issue.
India had last month accused the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of blocking Indian Army patrols on the Indian side of the LAC which is the de-facto Sino-Indian border. New Delhi had also said that occasionally such incidents do occur as both sides do not have a common perception of the LAC.
This comes in the backdrop of two separate incidents last month in the Sikkim and Ladakh sectors when Indian and Chinese soldiers had punched each other, resulting in injuries to troops on both sides. The incident in north Sikkim had taken place on May 9 while that in eastern Ladakh had taken place on the intervening night of May 5-6. In both incidents, aggressive Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) patrols were stopped by Indian troops inside Indian territory that China claims as its own.