India-Russia Summit Didn’t Happen Due To COVID
Dated : 25 Dec 2020 (IST)
The MEA spokesperson further said that the decision to not hold the annual meeting this year was taken mutually by the government of both countries. This was a mutually agreed decision between the two governments, said MEA. The ministry said that spreading false stories in important relationships is particularly irresponsible. Earlier today, Rahul Gandhi said damaging country’s traditional relationships is short-sighted and dangerous for its future
The Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday said that the annual summit between India and Russia didn’t take place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, asserting that “any imputation otherwise is false and misleading”.
MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava further said that the decision to not hold the annual meeting this year was taken mutually by the government of both countries.
“India-Russia Annual Summit didn’t take place in 2020 due to COVID pandemic. This was a mutually agreed decision between the two governments. Any imputation otherwise is false and misleading. Spreading false stories in important relationships is particularly irresponsible,” the MEA spokesperson said.
Russia’s Ambassador to India Nikolai Kudashev said that Moscow is in touch with India to work out new dates for the annual summit, asserting that it will be held in the near future.
“In touch with India to work out new dates for the India-Russia Annual Summit, postponed due to epidemiological reasons. We’re confident that it will be held in the near future, while the Russian-Indian relations will continue its further development,” he said.
The ministry’s clarification came after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi shared a news report on Twitter which claimed that the annual summit was postponed amid “Moscow’s unease with Quad”.
Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said that Russia is an “important friend” of India and that damaging country’s traditional relationships is “short-sighted and dangerous” for its future.
This is the first time in the last two decades that India and Russia have not held their annual summit. India and Russia have been holding the bilateral summit alternatively in the two countries since 2000 when the ‘Declaration on the India-Russia Strategic Partnership’ was signed between both sides.
This year, Russian President Vladimir Putin was expected to visit India for the summit but the spike in the number of coronavirus cases in India postponed the visit.
Russia recently criticised the Quadrilateral coalition or Quad comprising India, the United States, Japan, and Australia, saying it would be detrimental to inclusive dialogue for ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
“We are facing some attempts by some countries to create containment and alienation in the Indo-Pacific region which could threaten and jeopardise basic principles for regional cooperation, for example ASEAN centrality and ASEAN unity…Quad would be detrimental to the inclusive dialogue in the region,” Deputy Chief of the Russian mission Roman Babushkin said, PTI reported.