New Delhi: India has said that its relations with Russia "stand on their own merits" after Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov remarked that the west is attempting to "undermine our close partnership and privileged relations" with New Delhi.
Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Anurag Shrivastava said, "India has always pursued an independent foreign policy based on its national interest. India’s relationship with each country is independent of its relations with third countries." Adding, "We hope that this is well understood and appreciated by all our partners."
New Delhi and Moscow have Special & Privileged Strategic Partnership and this year marks the 20th anniversary of the strategic partnership between both the countries.
During his remarks at the general meeting of the Russian International Affairs Council, FM Lavrov also mentioned Indo Pacific and quad terming them anti-China.
Recalling the Indian Prime Minister's speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in June of 2018, MEA spokesperson pointed out that "India does not see the Indo-Pacific region as a strategy or as a club of limited members or as a grouping that seeks to dominate. It is not directed against any country. It stands for a free, open, and inclusive region."
This is not the first time the Russian foreign minister has commented on the Indo-Pacific concept. Earlier in this year, speaking at the Raisina Dialogue in Delhi he called the concept "divisive" and "India smart to not to get into it".