India’s strategic ties with Russia has very deep historic roots which provide stability and trust strong enough to navigate the complexities of the current world, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said, as he sought to allay concerns that New Delhi is under pressure from the U.S. to abandon military-technical cooperation with Moscow.
Mr. Shringla’s remarks came during an interview with the Russian daily Kommersant during which he was asked whether India would bow to the U.S. pressure and give up the S-400 air defence missile systems deal with Russia.
In October 2018, India had signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, despite a warning from the previous Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite U.S. sanctions.
Responding to a question, Mr. Shringla said, India’s relations with the U.S. and Russia stand on their own merits and all the major powers recognise fully India’s tradition of an independent foreign policy.
“Our Strategic Partnership with Russia has very deep historic roots which provide stability, trust and confidence strong enough to navigate the complexities of the current world. We have a global strategic partnership with the United States,” he said.
“I do not want to comment on the specific defence contracts, but let me state clearly that all the contracts concluded with Russia are being implemented according to schedule. These are consistent with India’s defence and security needs and interests,” he said.
The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.