Moscow looking to build ties with Pakistan: Russian deputy foreign minister


NEW DELHI: Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has admitted that Russia was looking to build ties with Pakistan, a country he described as taking great interest in multilateral forums.

He said Russia had no “hidden agenda” in its dealings with Islamabad. “I can assure you that Russia’s ties with no country in the world will come at the expense of its relationship with India,” said Ryabkov.

According to Indian media reports, the issue came up for discussion on Wednesday as Sergei Ryabkov met Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.

About Indian application for the membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Ryabkjov said that India’s application cannot be “interlinked” with that of Pakistan and that Moscow is discussing the issue with Beijing at different levels. China has favoured a criteria-based approach for expansion of the 48-member group, which controls international nuclear commerce.

“We recognise that at the moment there is no unanimity on Pakistan’s application and that the same cannot be interlinked with India’s,” said Ryabkov, after his meeting with Jaishankar.

On the issue of cross-border terrorism, Ryabkov said a very “forceful” message had been sent out at the BRICS summit in Xiamen this year and that international and pragmatic cooperation was required to defeat those individuals who were operating outside of their countries.

On the issue of North Korea, which too was discussed between the two countries, Ryabkov reiterated Russia’s position that there was no alternative to a political “track” for resolving the issues and that all parties needed to show restraint.