Expressing anxiety at the current military stand-off between India and China, Russia on Monday said that it was confident that both countries would find their “way out” through established diplomatic mechanisms and tools.
After the United States, Russia is the second country to comment on the continuing India-China border fracas.
The remarks made by the Russian embassy’s deputy chief of mission, Roman Babushkin, are significant as Moscow, a traditional partner with India, has grown increasingly close in the last several years. He first spoke with the News18 and the statement was later shared by the embassy with The Wire.
“Of course, we are worried with the current situation at the LAC,” said Babushkin. He was referring to the Line of Actual Control, the demarcation line that separate Indian and Chinese territories.
For the last three weeks, Indian and Chinese soldiers have bene reinforcing their numbers in at least three areas in eastern Ladakh, as part of a confrontation which began with a physical scuffle in Pangong Tso on May 5.
Talks continue through diplomatic and military channels, but the issue has yet to be resolved. This is the most serious military confrontation between the two sides since the Doklam crisis in 2017.
“However, as we know, there are dedicated special mechanisms and tools developed by both countries, including hotlines, special representatives dialogue and even informal summits. We are confident that the Indian and Chinese friends are duly equipped to find the way out for mutual satisfaction. We would encourage every endeavour in this regard,” stated Babushkin.
Last week, US president Donald Trump had tweeted that the US was willing to mediate between India and China on their “raging conflict”. India responded by saying that both the Asian neighbours are already engaged diplomatically.
Earlier in May, outgoing US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, Alice G. Wells had said that “flare-ups” on the border were a “reminder that Chinese aggression is not always rhetorical”. “Whether it is on the South China Sea, or along the border with India, we continue to see provocations and disturbing behaviour by China that poses questions about how China seeks to use its growing power,” she stated.
In his statement, the Russian diplomat also noted that it was important to strengthen cooperation at two plurilateral platforms shared by India and China.
“We also feel not less important to further enhance our high and highest level trilateral RIC dialogue as well as the SCO-based coordination, while these structures are vital for regional stability and strengthening mutual trust,” he said.
On May 13, Indian external affairs minister S. Jaishankar had taken part in a virtual meeting of SCO foreign ministers on COVID-19, which was initiated and chaired by Russia.