Russia hopes India, China will use SCO to address differences | India News

While denying that it could mediate on its own in the India-China border standoff, Russia Tuesday laid the groundwork for a meeting between the Indian and Chinese foreign ministers in Moscow as it said that SCO can provide a platform for building mutual trust between member states.
Ahead of the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting in Moscow on September 10, Russia’s deputy chief of mission here, Roman Babushkin, said Russia will encourage every opportunity and effort for a dialogue between India and China to sort out their differences.
Foreign minister S Jaishankar and his counterpart Wang Yi will have bilateral talks on the margins of SCO in what will be their first physical meeting since news broke out in early May of fresh border strife in Ladakh. The two will meet at a time talks for troop disengagement in eastern Ladakh and LAC de-escalation are teetering on the brink of collapse, with both accusing each other of opening fire at LAC for the first time in 45 years on Monday night.
“The SCO Charter doesn’t allow any bilateral dispute to be involved but it provides a comfortable platform for building mutual trust, expanding cooperation, finding common ground and eventually creating conditions for dialogue between countries. We are witnessing a lot of opportunities on the SCO sidelines for bilateral dialogue and are pleased to see that Russian and Chinese defence ministers met recently and that foreign ministers too will be meeting,” said Babushkin, in an interaction with journalists.
“We would encourage an outcome which provides an impetus to talks for de-escalation and disengagement,” he said further, adding Russia was confident that the 2 sides will find a mutually acceptable solution through dialogue.
Significantly, Babushkin also expressed hope that India will find “common ground” with Pakistan within the “framework of consensus for SCO cooperation”. Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will also participate in the SCO meeting. According to official sources here, there’s no bilateral meeting scheduled with Qureshi for now. When asked about possible supply of arms to Pakistan, Babushkin said Russia will remain sensitive to India’s concerns.
The meeting on the SCO sidelines will provide Jaishankar and Wang an opportunity to look at the border situation afresh. Their phone conversation in June helped establish the broad principles for disengagement but the situation seems to have changed in the past few weeks with Indian troops taking control of strategic peaks on the southern bank of the Pangong lake. According to sources, the Chinese side hasn’t been able to come to terms with the “readjustment” which India made on the southern bank in deployment of troops.
Babushkin though ruled out any chance of Moscow mediating in the dispute unless specifically asked to do so by both countries. Indian government has also ruled out mediation by any foreign power. Nevertheless, India has sought to keep Moscow informed about developments at LAC, not least because of its close ties with Beijing. Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev was the first foreign envoy to be briefed about the situation in June by foreign secretary Harsh Shringla.
On questions about the Indo-Pacific though, the diplomat said Russia was ready to work with any group that was “inclusive, forward-looking, open-minded and based on international law”. Moscow looks at the Indo-Pacific concept in its present form as nothing more than an exercise at the behest of the US to contain China.

[Source :Times of India]


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