China and Russia, permanent members of the UN Security Council, are taking divergent positions on any consultations by the UNSC on the Kashmir issue.
While China may try to initiate informal consultations in UNSC at the behest of its ally Pakistan, India’s traditional partner Russia is trying to discourage any discussion in the Council on the issue.
“On August 14, at the initiative of the Pakistani side, a telephonic conversation took place between Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, and Mr SM Qureshi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” said an official statement from Russia.
“The situation in South Asia was discussed amid the worsening relations between Pakistan and India after New Delhi changed the legal status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Russian side emphasised the need for de-escalation of tensions, and that there is no alternative to resolve differences between Pakistan and India except bilaterally… Representatives of Russia to the UN adhere to this consistent position,” Russia said in a statement issued in Moscow.
Moscow has made it clear that the matter is bilateral in nature and UN has no role in it. New Delhi and Moscow remain engaged on the issue and the matter will be on the agenda when PM Modi will travel to Vladivostok for Eastern Economic Forum and annual summit September 4-6.
Last Saturday, Russia became the first P-5 country to describe India’s move on Kashmir as internal and called for resolution under the Shimla Agreement of 1972. Traditionally, Moscow supported India’s position on Kashmir and erstwhile Soviet Union vetoed a number of resolutions on Kashmir in UNSC during the Cold War period.
India, on its part, is trying to deter the Chinese move through other members of UNSC including permanent member France. Members of EU, who are currently in UNSC, may also be inclined to back India.