Russia’s foreign minister on Friday praised India’s refusal to condemn the Ukraine invasion, saying Moscow and Delhi would find ways to circumvent “illegal” Western sanctions and continue to trade.
India has abstained from multiple United Nations resolutions censuring Moscow, calling only for an end to violence, and has increased its oil purchases from Russia, its biggest supplier of arms.
“These days our Western colleagues would like to reduce any meaningful international issue to the crisis in Ukraine… (We) appreciate that India is taking this situation in the entirety of facts, not just in a one-sided way,” Sergei Lavrov said in New Delhi.
Western financial sanctions have reportedly made it difficult for India to pay Russia for imports including arms, oil, rough diamonds and fertilizers.
India and Russia are reportedly working on a rupee-rouble mechanism to facilitate trade and get around Western sanctions on Russian banks, according to media reports.
“Many years ago we started moving in our relations with India, with China, with many other countries from using dollars and euros to more and more use of national currencies. Under these circumstances this trend I believe will be intensified,” 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.”
India however is in a tricky spot since the Ukraine crisis has pushed Russia closer to China. (The Express Tribune)