Russia on Wednesday said it was following developments at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, and is encouraged by India and China focusing on ”disengagement efforts” and to promote constructive dialogue. Deputy Chief of the Russian mission Roman Babushkin said Russia encourages both sides to take opportunities in advancing their ties at common multilateral platforms like the BRICS, SCO and RIC trilateral grouping.
”We are following developments at the LAC. We are encouraged by India and China to consider disengagement efforts in order to promote constructive and forward looking dialogue which is a very important precondition for regional stability,” he said at a media briefing. Both India and China are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Russia-India-China (RIC) grouping and BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa).
Russian Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev did not give a direct reply when asked whether China’s belligerence in eastern Ladakh and elsewhere figured in the recent talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. He said the talks were focused on bilateral issues and preparations for the annual India-Russia summit in the second half of the year.
The talks were focused on an ”unifying agenda”, be it bilateral ties as well as multilateral cooperation. As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, India and China completed withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong lake in February in line with an agreement on disengagement. The two sides are now engaged in talks to extend the disengagement process in the remaining friction points in the region.
Last week, India and Chinese militaries held their 11th round of talks during which they agreed to jointly maintain stability on the ground, avoid any new incidents and resolve the outstanding issues in an ”expeditious manner”.