Russia on Friday welcomed India and China's decison to de-escalate tensions in eastern Ladakh, with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov saying he was "very happy" that he could provide his Indian and Chinese counterparts a platform for a "very well timed" meeting.
India and China agreed on a five-point plan for resolving the prolonged border face-off, including quick disengagement of troops during talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on Thursday on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet.
Addressing a joint press conference here with his Chinese counterpart Wang after bilateral talks, Lavrov noted that the foreign ministers of the three countries had a very produtive meetings on Thursday under the Russia, India and China (RIC) format. "We are very happy that Moscow has presented a platform to Russia, China and India to have this very productive, fruitful meeting whose goal is to stablise the situation on the border between India and China," Lavrov said while a reporter sought his comments on the India-China roadmap to deescalate tensions along their borders.
"It was a very productive and very well timed meeting and I am very happy that it happened," he said on the bilateral meeting between Jaishankar and Wang. Ahead of the meeting between Jaishankar and Wang, a senior Russian diplomat in New Delhi had expressed confidence that India and China will be able to resolve the border standoff through dialogue.
Deputy Chief of the Russian embassy Roman Babushkin said Moscow would like to see "de-escalation and disengagement" through talks in eastern Ladakh. "We hope that India and China will find a solution to the border issues through dialogue," he said at an online interaction with journalists in New Delhi on Tuesday.
His comments came a day after tension escalated in eastern Ladakh following a fresh confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops in the region. "We are not participating in the resolution of disputes between the two countries. We are focusing on the creation of a positive atmosphere for it," Babushkin said, ruling out the possibility of Russia playing the role of a mediator unless it is asked to do so by both India and China.
The Russian diplomat said though the SCO Charter doesn't allow any bilateral dispute to be taken up, the bloc provides a platform to create mutual trust and finding common ground between member countries. Jaishankar's trip to Moscow happened days after Defence Minister Singh visited the Russian capital to attend a meeting of SCO defence ministers.
Last Friday, Singh held an over two-hour meeting with Chinese Defence Minister Gen Wei Fenghe on the escalating border row between the two countries in eastern Ladakh.