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“Russia’s ties with India exceptional but broken with West": Jaishankar

Washington, DC: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said India-Russia ties may not be spectacular but are very “exceptional and steady”, adding that in many ways Moscow's relationship with the West has “broken down”.

Speaking at Hudson University, Jaishankar compared Russia’s ties with India to that with other countries.

“…if you consider international relations over the last 70 years, the US-Russian relations, the China-Russia relations, the US-China relations, pretty much every big relationship in the last 70 years has seen a great deal of volatility, you had sharp ups and downs,” Jaishankar said, adding, “India-Russia relations is very exceptional. It's been very steady.”

Noting the India-Russia relations may “not be spectacular", Jaishankar said they have stabilised at a certain level, but have not seen the ups and downs that Moscow's relationships with China, US, or Europe have been through.
“And that's in itself a statement,” Jaishankar added.

“Now, if one looks at Russia today…as a consequence of what is going on in Ukraine…it seems to them clear that in many ways Russia's relationship with the West has broken down,” he said.

On why Russia’s emphasis on India is increasing, Jaishankar said, “…India will and has come into calculations as well. So I would predict a Russia that would consciously focus on the non-Western world away from Europe, away from the United States, look much more at Asia, look possibly at other regions as well. But Asia is economically the most active. So I guess that's what you're going to see.”

Further, the EAM underscored India’s increasing footprints in the global economy and its increasing trade with the Middle East countries.

“We have to understand today that as India becomes a larger consumer, a bigger economy, our salience in the Middle East countries calculations, especially the Gulf economies, is that much higher. We are the largest trade partner of the UAE and we would be among probably the top three of the Saudis,” Jaishankar said.

Earlier this week, Jaishankar met his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly session in New York City. The two appreciated the rapid progress in India, UAE bilateral cooperation and valued regular exchange of perspectives on regional and global issues.

“Always a pleasure to meet FM @ABZayed of UAE, this time in New York. Appreciate the rapid progress in our bilateral cooperation. Value our regular exchange of perspectives on regional and global issues,” EAM Jaishankar wrote on X.

“They discovered during COVID that the Gulf is actually dependent on daily food consumption for what comes out of India. So the economies have really got very, very deeply meshed..." Jaishankar said during an interaction at the Hudson Insitute.

UAE and India along with Saudi Arabia, the US and European Union (EU), had recently announced an ambitious infrastructure plan — the ‘India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor’. This initiative launched at the G20 summit in New Delhi, seeks to reshape the trade route between the Gulf, Europe and South Asia, connecting them by rail and sea links.

Jaishankar is currently in the last leg of his US visit. Earlier, he was in New York for the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Wrapping up his New York visit, the EAM arrived in Washington, DC on September 28.
Jaishankar will also address the 4th World Culture Festival, which is being organised by the Art of Living Foundation of spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. (ANI)

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