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‘Russia will never be alone’, diplomat tells gathering in New Delhi

Moscow’s deputy envoy to India has cast doubt on the West’s efforts to weaken his country

Western nations are using Ukraine to weaken Russia, but will not succeed, the Russian deputy ambassador to India, Roman Babushkin, said on Saturday at an event in New Delhi. He was speaking ahead of the G20 summit scheduled for September.

Despite the G7 countries having imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia, which have disrupted global energy and finance markets and supply chains, Russia’s relationship with its non-Western partners, including the countries of the Global South, has been robust and the country “will never be alone,” the envoy insisted. 

Babushkin noted that Russia-India relations have been continuously evolving in several fields beyond the traditional defense and energy sectors, whose trade skyrocketed over the last year to nearly $50 billion. Businesses from both countries are actively exploring new opportunities for investment and Russia is keen to continue its contribution to the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ strategy. 


Emphasizing the importance Moscow gives to its relationship with India as well as its engagement within various formats such as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Babushkin said the friendship between the two countries could set an example for the world, and that Russia has always respected India’s independent foreign policy. 

Noting that Moscow has historically maintained friendly relations with both New Delhi and Beijing, whose relations have been tense in the past several years due to unresolved border issues, the deputy envoy stressed that Russia never wanted to “mint political benefits out of the India-China border tensions.”


Speaking on Russia’s expectations for the upcoming G20 summit, Babushkin said Russia supported the vision of equal development for all countries, advocated by India, stressing that Russia would always support India in all its endeavors. 

Commenting on the upcoming BRICS summit in South Africa that begins on Tuesday, Babushkin has recently pointed out the “magnetism” of the BRICS grouping for countries that share similar values and aspirations. “With over one-third of the world’s GDP, a total population of around three billion people and a strong desire of other states to join its activities, it is safe to say that BRICS has become an integral element of an evolving multipolar paradigm,” he said at another event in the Indian capital last week.

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‘India will NOT play anyone else’s games’ – Shashi Tharoor on BRICS, Ukraine and relations with the US

While Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Johannesburg next week to attend the 15th BRICS summit in person, as the country’s foreign ministry confirmed on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the gathering virtually. When asked whether Putin would be attending the G20 in New Delhi in person, Babushkin said it would be announced at an appropriate time. 


The Aaj Tak G20 conclave, held in New Delhi on Saturday, was addressed by prominent speakers, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party president J. P. Nadda, Minister of Road, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Steel and Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia and G20 Sherpa for India Amitabh Kant. Like all other speakers, Babushkin, who was the only foreign official to address the forum, spoke in Hindi – a tradition that many Russian diplomats in the country follow. 

Last year, Russian Ambassador Denis Alipov made headlines in India after he mentioned a popular saying in Hindi while speaking at the Russian culture festival inauguration in Delhi. “Dosti se zyada kuch bhi nahi hota” [There’s nothing more important than friendship], which he singled out as a notable characteristic of the trustworthy and friendly Russia-India strategic partnership.

August 19, 2023 at 05:11PM


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