Russia foreign minister says Russia and India are 'good friends'
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When his invasion began in February, Putin immediately alienated every one of Russia’s potential allies in the west. European nations denounced him and enacted sweeping sanctions, cutting off Russia from the rest of the continent and crippling its economy. India recently hobbled their effectiveness by offering the country a lifeline.
Is India a NATO ally?
NATO first formed as a military alliance between 12 constituent nations in 1949.
Founders included Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK and US, and another 18 nations have since joined them.
The alliance also has three aspirational members; Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Ukraine, three NATO partner groups and several assorted “partners across the globe”.
These partners are NATO allies who aren’t paid up members but work with the organisation.
Some unlikely partners are Russia and Belarus, the two nations involved in the “special military operation”.
India is not, according to NATO, which categorises it as a non-member country that has “no bilateral programme of cooperation”.
The country is one of two nuclear-capable nations (alongside China) inhabiting this category.
Indian leadership has taken a neutral stance during Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, having refused to back the UN’s resolution to condemn the Kremlin.
And Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a longtime Putin ally, has provided the Russian President with a lifeline.
He has bolstered his country’s diplomatic links with Russia in recent years.
When western nations suspended their oil sales with Russia, Mr Modi increased India’s, helping Putin weather the blow.
Earlier today, the Russian foreign ministry said it would find ways to continue trading with India under “illegal” western sanctions.
Following a meeting with Mr Modi, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov praised Delhi’s response to his government’s invasion.
He said Russia’s “western colleagues” had chosen to “reduce any meaningful international issue to the crisis in Ukraine”, while India had not.
Lavrov said he appreciated that India was “taking this situation in the entirety of facts, not just in a one-sided way”.
He added: “I can only say that the balanced position of India which is not influenced by blackmail or diktat methods inspires our respect.”
The Russian diplomat said Russia started “moving in our relations with India” several years ago, hoping to persuade countries to use currencies other than dollars and euros more widely.
Lavrov added that he believed the trend would be “intensified” in the future.
He said: “We will be ready to supply to India any goods which India wants to buy…and I have no doubt that a way will be found to bypass the artificial impediments which illegal unilateral sanctions by the west create.”
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