‘India expects greater backing from Russia in UNSC quest’

Moscow, May 21 (IANS) India, with its “time-tested relationship” with Russia, expects greater backing from Moscow in its quest for permanent membership of the UN Security Council, a diplomatic officical said here Tuesday.

“India’s interest in securing permanent membership of UN Security Council is supported by Russia, but there is now an expectation that our Russian friends need to do more – and be seen to be doing more – in the desired direction,” Rajiv Bhatia, director general of the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), said here Tuesday.

Also, Russia and India could consider stepping up their coordination and cooperation in organisations like BRICS for mutual benefit, he said.

Bhatia was leading the Indian delegation of scholars to the MGIMO-ICWA Conference on “New Contours of India-Russia Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership” here as part of a Track II dialogue. Both the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) are of similar vintage and were established in the 1940s.

“The basic purpose of our dialogue for the next two days is to enhance our understanding of key aspects of the foreign policies of Russia and India in the larger context of rapidly changing strategic environment and the historical backdrop of convergences trumping divergences that mark our bilateral relations,” Bhatia said.

“This dialogue will, we hope, contribute to a better understanding of the worldview, held and articulated by each of our two countries,” he said.

Bhatia said India views Russia as an important world player that has wider international influence and responsibility. “Indian leadership considers relations with Russia as “a key pillar” of India’s foreign policy. Hence, friendly and cooperative equations between our two countries have vital global, regional and bilateral dimensions that need to be studied and strengthened.”

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