Petersburg: President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia does not have any “tight” military relationship with Pakistan, and asserted that its close friendship with India cannot be diluted.
Putin said that there is no other country in the world with which Russia has such “deep cooperation” in delicate areas including missile technology, and it benefits from cooperation with India. But at the same time, Putin sidestepped a question on Kashmir, and said “it is up to you” to assess whether Pakistan is fuelling terrorism in the Indian state.
“But no matter where the threat comes, it is unacceptable and we will always support India in its fight against terrorism,” he added.
Putin further said that just because Russia has a “special relationship” with India, it does not mean India should be restricted in having contacts with other “partnering countries. This is ridiculous.”
“We do not have any tight (military) relations with Pakistan. The US, Do you have (close relations)?,” he said. “And for sure our relations with Pakistan have no impact on trade between India and Russia.”
Modi, putin strike a personal chord
They both are strong leaders with cult-like following. But when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Vladimir Putin he stuck a very personal chord when he recalled how the Russian President’s brother was among several family members who had laid down their lives for the country.
Meeting 64-year-old Putin for the second time, Modi in his opening remarks mentioned his visit to the Piskariovskoye Cemetery where over five lakh victims of World War II and the 900-day siege of Leningrad are buried. “I had an opportunity pay homage to those who laid down their lives for Russia,” 66- year-old Modi said.
Looking at Putin, Modi asked, “you are a political leader whose family has made sacrifices” for the glory of Russia.
“Your brother was martyred,” he said, referring to Putin’s brother Viktor who died more than 70 years ago during the siege of Leningrad.
“Met President Putin. We had a wonderful meeting during which we discussed India-Russia relations,” Modi later tweeted....