Lokesh Chandra

Russian-Speaking Parts of Ukraine Must Follow Russia: Indian Scholar

Monday, 03 November 2014 18:30

Ukraine has a divided culture and the Russian-speaking parts of the country must follow Russia, Professor Lokesh Chandra, newly appointed President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), told RIA Novosti.

"Ukraine does not have a single culture, certain elements are pro-Russian, others are purely Ukrainian. So this bi-culturalism has also its role to play," Chandra said.

“The Russian part of Ukraine has to go with Russia. There, going with Russia won't harm in any way. But the whole of Ukraine may not be willing to go with Russia,” he added.

Ukraine’s predominantly Russian-speaking eastern regions have in recent months been suffering from a military operation launched by Kiev forces in April to suppress the region’s independence supporters.

According to the ICCR president, India is not very concerned by the crisis in Ukraine and will rather focus on strengthening its relations with Russia.

"Let’s see when the Russian president is here and what happens during the talks and how we look at the whole situation in Ukraine. I don't think India is very much concerned with the Ukrainian problem. Our relations with Russia are more important than going into bilateral complications," Chandra told RIA Novosti.

"Our relations with Russia all along have been cordial and that will continue. We will take some steps so that they become deeper and stronger. We can act in more areas than today. We are going for a major program of development, first time in India to be activated, so that the relations between India and Russia will grow in a major way,” he added.

The deterioration of Russia’s relations with the West over the Ukrainian crisis has brought it closer with India, with both Russian and Indian officials expressing a desire to increase cooperation between the countries in recent months.

NEW DELHI, October 31 (RIA Novosti) 

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