A majority of the 10 non-permanent members, including Germany, backed India.
New Delhi: “Time tested friend” Russia on Friday backed India during the “closed door” consultation of the United Nations Security Council but with a sting in the tail.
A senior Russian diplomat at the UN while rooting for a bilateral solution between India and Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir went on to add on his Twitter handle that it should also be in accordance with UN Charter, and relevant UN resolutions. “Russia continues to consistently promote normalisation of India-Pakistan ties. We hope that existing divergences around Kashmir will be settled bilaterally by political and diplomatic means only on the basis of Simla Agreement of 1972, and Lahore Declaration of 1999, in accordance with UN Charter, relevant UN resolutions and bilateral agreements between India and Pakistan,” First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia Dmitry Polyanskiy said on Twitter.
The statement though did cause some moments of scare for India, which insists on bilateral talks on the issue of Kashmir, but it did not reflect Russia’s traditional position on Kashmir during the UNSC meeting.
Mr Polyanskiy, who represented Russia during the one of the rare closed door meeting strongly backed India on the issue of Kashmir along with other P-5 members France and US saying it is a bilateral issue to be resolved by India and Pakistan.
China rooted for Pakistan and United Kingdom tilted towards Chinese position. However, majority of the 10 non-permanent members including Germany and African nations — Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Dominican Republic — also backed India. India has maintained that Simla Agreement supercedes the previous UN resolutions, a fact underlined by Indian envoy to UN Syed Akbaruddin during his press interaction after the UNSC meeting on Friday. “We can go back in history but every new agreement overtakes the past,” he said while talking about the Simla Agreement of 1972 and the previous UN resolutions on Kashmir.
The closed door consultations came up after Russia, along with France and United States had rejected the Chinese proposal for open door consultations on the developments in Jammu and Kashmir.
This would have resulted in a statement issued by UNSC and further complicated things for India. On Friday, majority of the UNSC members were against issuing any statement or listing out the outcome of the closed door meeting arguing that Kashmir was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and there was no need for third party involvement.
The Russian response on the Kashmir issue has been supportive of bilateral talks. In the coming days, India expects a clarification from Moscow with regard to Mr Polyanskiy’s mention of UN resolutions and UN Charter in his tweet and a much stronger backing at the international forum to thwart the joint venture of China and Pakistan to internationalise its domestic issue.