Russia interested in growth of India’s influence as an independent power centre, says Denis Alipov, Moscow’s new envoy to New Delhi

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New Delhi, Feb 4: Denis Alipov, the new Russian Ambassador to India, has said that the Kremlin is interested in the growth of India’s influence as an independent centre of power – in the world as a whole, but primarily in the Asia-Pacific region.

In a detailed interview with Izvestiya – the Russian daily newspaper published in Moscow – Alipov, a career diplomat and dedicated India specialist with decades long experience of working in the country, made it clear that India occupies one of the central places in the priorities of Russia’s foreign policy.

Alipov, a fluent speaker of Hindi, said that India’s deepening cooperation with the Central Asian republics and the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) could be a game-changer for the region in the coming years considering the current situation in Afghanistan.

“We would be interested if India deepens its ties with the CSTO. India’s contacts with the organisation have already been established. But we would welcome more active and close interaction of the republic with this organisation,” said the seasoned diplomat.

The Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia is expected to get further strengthened with Alipov’s arrival in the Indian capital. He will be succeeding Nikolay Kudashev who is moving to Singapore as Russia’s next Ambassador to the country.

In the diplomatic service since 1993, Alipov worked in various positions in the central office of the Russian Foreign Ministry and abroad. From 2010 to 2016, he was Minister Counsellor of the Russian Embassy in India. He then served as the Deputy Director of the Second Asia Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry before being appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin as the country’s next ambassador to India, last month

As reported by IndiaNarrative.com in January, Russia is not only keen on expanding bilateral interaction with India but also through various multilateral and plurilateral forums in 2022, especially the Russia-India-China (RIC) format following the Indian-Russia Summit between Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi last December.

Alipov, in his interview to Izvestiya, highlighted the significance of RIC, saying that this format can actually help “reduce the tension” that has arisen between India and China in recent years.

“Of course, we do not intend in any way to impose our mediation services, but we will not refuse to help build confidence between India and China, if both sides so desire. Because there is simply no other way than interaction, development and strengthening of ties between these largest Asian countries,” he said.

Replying to a question on India being part of the US-led Quad alliance, the new Russian Ambassador to India said that Moscow would never tell New Delhi who it should be friends with and which groups to join.

“We openly share our views with India, but do not impose anything. I am convinced that the Indians themselves will figure out what best suits their national interests,” he emphasised during the interview.

India, along with China, Algeria, Egypt, Vietnam and Myanmar, remained amongst Russia’s main partners in the field of military-technical cooperation during 2021. Even as New Delhi goes ahead full steam promoting indigenisation in defence sector, Moscow expects the partnership to grow stronger this year.

“In recent years, Indians have set themselves the goal of achieving self-sufficiency in the production of weapons – they want to produce them themselves and do not want to buy them abroad. And now we are talking about cooperation and interaction with India in terms of the joint production of weapons and the transfer of defence technologies to it. This is where they place particular emphasis,” said Alipov.

As India and Russia commemorate 75 years of diplomatic relations in April, the new Russian Ambassador hoped of meeting goals for trade – $30 billion by 2025 – and in the fields of nuclear energy, railway transport, shipbuilding, mechanical engineering, aircraft industry and pharmaceuticals.

Meanwhile, outgoing Russian Ambassador Kudashev, in his farewell message said that the special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India, which is “based on a positive, unified agenda”, makes a significant contribution to strengthening international stability.

He stated that despite the extreme conditions of the Covid-19 challenge, the two countries managed to adapt to all difficulties and create a true spirit of mutual assistance without any artificial barriers and without departing from the “big mission” while deepening mutually respectful dialogue at the same time.

“Together with like-minded countries, we stand firmly on the path of the establishment of fair and equal polycentric world routed in the principles of the United Nations Charter. We are enhancing coordination within the UN, G20, BRICS, SCO, RIC and other important platforms,” said Kudashev.

“I am confident that the next Russian Ambassador to India — experienced diplomat and professional Indologist Mr Denis Alipov — will proudly continue the honourable duty to further build up this truly unique relationship,” he added.

(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)

–indianarrative

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