Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Roman Babushkin. (Twitter)
New Delhi: Russia on Wednesday welcomed India's "independent position" on the Ukraine crisis and said its views on the issue at the UN Security Council was reflective of the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries.
Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Roman Babushkin said India has been playing a vital role as a responsible global power and it takes an "independent and balanced" approach to world affairs.
He also said that the crisis would not impact India-Russia ties including in areas of defence and that there will be a "huge" Russian participation in the DefExpo in Gujarat next month.
"We welcome the independent position of India which it took twice at the UN Security Council and which was expressed openly by the Indian external affairs minister and other officials," he said at an online media briefing.
"The Indian activities at the UN Security Council are fully reflecting the merit of our special and privileged strategic partnership," he added.
Amid escalating tension between Moscow and the West after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised two breakaway Ukrainian regions as independent states, India at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday night called for "restraint on all sides".
It stressed that the immediate priority is "de-escalation of tensions", taking into account the legitimate security interests of all countries and aimed towards securing long term peace and stability in the region and beyond.
Specifically asked whether the Western sanctions will adversely impact India-Russia defence cooperation including supply of S-400 missile systems, Babushkin did not give a direct reply but indicated that all the projects will continue.
"We keep in mind the possibility of the negative influence of sanctions with regard to our cooperation in particular affairs, including defence. But at the same time, when it comes to our case with India, we have very strong and trusted cooperation," he said.
Babushkin further added: "We continue our work with our Indian partners in defence. We have big plans and we hope that our partnership will continue further at the same level we are enjoying today."
He said the Western sanctions against Russia will negatively affect the Russian economy and banking system, adding the punitive measures will create instability to the global economy as they will lead to an "atmosphere of distrust and fear".
Babushkin said the Russia-India partnership is based on a strong and solid foundation and that his country was open to sharing sophisticated technologies with India.
He also said that Russia's participation in India's DefExpo next month will be "huge".
The Russian diplomat said India and Russia don't "threaten" each other with unilateral sanctions and don't interfere in each other's domestic affairs.
"Our cooperation does not represent any threat to anyone and at the same time we keep moving shoulder-to-shoulder to establish a just and equal multipolar world," he added, hoping that the intensity of India-Russia ties will continue at the same level.
On the overall crisis in Ukraine, the Russian diplomat alleged that Western powers have been trying to destabilise the region.
The Russian diplomat claimed that NATO has been a source of instability and that the Western countries are trying to exert more pressure on Russia.
He alleged that Ukraine has been under "external control" since 2014 and that the US has been sending thousands of tonnes of military equipment to that country during the period.
Babushkin said Russia has always been ready for dialogue as it believes in the peaceful resolution of the crisis.