Following Crimea's accession to the Russian Federation, unrest in eastern Ukraine has concerned the international community.
Ambassador of Russia to India, Alexander M Kadakin, spoke with Rudroneel Ghosh about the Russian perspective on the Ukraine situation:
Following Crimea's decision to join the Russian Federation, Moscow has been blamed for instigating rebellion in parts of eastern Ukraine. How do you respond?
These are blatant lies, an attempt to juggle with facts for the convenience of Kiev's overseas puppeteers. Russia is championing a broad, inclusive dialogue within Ukraine itself on the basis of serious constitutional reforms. They have to meet the aspirations of the entire Ukrainian nation, including Russian-speaking populations of eastern and southern Ukraine. Confrontation in the regions adjacent to Russia is instigated by authorities in Kiev who would not listen to their own citizens. They resort to armed forces instead of launching a dialogue on the basis of agreements reached in Kiev on February 21 and in Geneva on April 17. These authorities seem to ignore that they seized power through an armed coup d'etat and lack credibility. Not a single person died during Crimea's reunification process, but now Kiev radicals, supported by the West, use force against their own people. Isn't this the highest degree of cynicism, brazen duplicity or even triplicity?
Is Russia's approach towards Ukraine driven by a desire to check Nato?
Russia's approach is motivated solely by its desire to see Ukraine an independent, stable and well-disposed state, at peace with all its neighbours. It shouldn't be used as a hostage in futile attempts to contain Russia. I wonder how a nuclear giant such as Russia can ever be contained or punished.
Russia needs to cooperate with the US over Syria, Iran and global terrorism. Is this possible in the current scenario?
The situation in Syria and Iran, and combating global terrorism are amongst the key issues of Russia's foreign policy in which Moscow is playing a leading role. Russia is an indispensable participant of the peacemaking process in Afghanistan. Our aim is to resolve these problems peacefully. No matter what the future attitude of US or European countries is, we will keep working for peace and stability in the world.
Russia has been suspended from G8 but has received some support in G20. Do you see a shift in the global balance of power?
We do not think that membership in G8 gentlemen's club is a badge of honour. Sanctions are always a double-edged sword. As regards the world situation, there's been a shift in the global balance of power. More and more nations stand against unipolarity, arrogance and monopoly of power. No single country has the license to rule, however mighty it may be. This is reflected at various meetings of G20, Brics, Asean and other major international forums. Even the UN General Assembly vote on the Crimean resolution exemplifies this. It seems the winds of born-again non-alignment are blowing stronger.
How do you view the trajectory of India-Russia relations?
Russia's multidimensional relationship of trust with India has withstood the test of time. Nourished by the rich and vigorous past, it's achieved the level of privileged strategic partnership based on proximity of fundamental national interests and universal consensus on this matter in both countries.
Russia has always stood by India in rain or shine. Like a sister, we readily share with India the best we have, be it nuclear energy, defence, aviation, etc. Hardly will you find another such example amongst nations. This cooperation will continue unabated by internal or international expediency.