Russia’s Warning to PAK : Multilateral FORA Not Be Utilised for Bilateral...

Russia’s Warning to PAK : Multilateral FORA Not Be Utilised for Bilateral Matters

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Russia’s Warning to PAK : Multilateral FORA Not Be Utilised for Bilateral Matters

Babushkin noted that the incident has taken Moscow by surprise and Russia as the current chair of SCO is probing the matter. The diplomat recalled that while his government was satisfied that both India and China utilised Moscow format to reach an understanding on boundary dispute, Russia did not interfere in the Sino-India episode. India is scheduled to host SCO heads of government at the end of November and Pakistan’s sudden move can cast a shadow over future SCO events.

Russia is frustrated with Pakistani antics at SCO and has in a clear message asserted that the multilateral fora should not be utilised to settle bilateral disputes.

“Russian has long held its principled position on not using any multilateral fora for bilateral disputes,” Roman Babushkin, Russia’s deputy ambassador to India, told ET. “SCO is a multilateral grouping and does not promote bilateral agenda. We will be encouraged to see constructive involvement of all participants, seeking promotion of a unified agenda and dialogue in the region.”

Babushkin noted that the incident has taken Moscow by surprise and Russia as the current chair of SCO is probing the matter. The diplomat recalled that while his government was satisfied that both India and China utilised Moscow format to reach an understanding on boundary dispute, Russia did not interfere in the Sino-India episode.

The incident has put Russia in an awkward situation ahead of the SCO Summit next month by Moscow. India is scheduled to host SCO heads of government at the end of November and Pakistan’s sudden move can cast a shadow over future SCO events.

Russian government sources, said that the fabricated map showcased by Pakistan at the SCO meeting for national security advisors virtually violates the SCO spirit and Eurasian architecture. The SCO charter does not allow dialogue or references to bilateral disputes and arrangements. Experts here did not rule out that Pakistan’s move may have had the backing of China.

Notwithstanding major differences and stand off along the Line of Actual Control, neither India nor China utilised SCO defence ministers and foreign ministers meetings to debate bilateral issues. All bilateral matters were discussed on the sidelines between the two sides.

On Tuesday, before India’s NSA Ajit Doval walked out of the key SCO meet being held virtually, host Russia tried hard to convince the Pakistani side but to no avail. Islamabad went ahead with its plan.

Pakistan NSA sat before a “new” political map that showed Kashmir and Junagadh as part of its territory. “This was in blatant disregard to the advisory by the host against it and in violation of the norms of the meeting. After consultation with the host, the Indian side left the meeting in protest at that juncture,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Tuesday and added, “As was to be expected, Pakistan then went on to present a misleading view of this meeting”.