US sanctions can’t change ‘Time-Tested’ India-Russia relations, says Russian envoy

Bilateral relations between India and Russia are “time-tested” and US sanctions will not impact the growing bonhomie between the two countries, according to a Russian envoy.

“Russia-India relations are time-tested and it cannot he stopped by sanctions…,” said Roman Babushkin, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Russia, at a press conference in the national capital.

Babushkin also said Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be holding the Russia-India Summit on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum, scheduled to be held in Vladivostok, Russia, from 4-6 September. Modi will be attending the forum as the chief guest.

US sanctions on Russia ::

Referring to the US-led sanctions on Moscow, Babushkin said, “Unilateral sanctions are against the global rules-based order…Unilateral sanctions are creating huge impediments not just for Russia, but those who do business with Russia.”

Russia had been under western sanctions since 2012. The US separately has put as many as 60 rounds of sanctions on Russian companies, government agencies and individuals. The sanctions have been imposed pertaining to Russia’s policy towards Ukraine.

In 2017, the US had passed the Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) to stop Russia from selling its arsenals.

India, on the other hand, has a long and historic defence relationship with Russia. Almost 60 per cent of Indian defence platforms are Russian. India will also soon be purchasing the Russian S-400 Triumf air defence system — a bone of contention between India and the US.

This week, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar held talks with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov.

“Productive discussion with Russian Deputy PM Yury Borisov, co-chair of India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission-TEC. Preparing for the September Summit between PM Narendra Modi and President Putin,” Jaishankar had tweeted.

‘BRICS to work out a stronger currency mechanism’
The Russian envoy also said the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit this year will look at strengthening an alternative mechanism for currency reserve.

He said the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) is “ready” and can be used when needed. The BRICS currency reserve has been created to counter adverse western sanctions, he added. The CRA is being handled by the Finance Ministers’ track of the BRICS.

This year’s summit will be held in Brazil’s capital Brasilia on 13-14 November. Russia will be hosting the summit in 2020.