Delivery of five regiments of S-400 missile systems to India are unlikely to be affected by sanctions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Denis Alipov, Russia’s ambassador-designate to India, said Wednesday. Alipov said Moscow ‘doesn’t foresee any obstacles as far as S-400 supply to India is concerned’ and said sanctions levied by the US and other nations could be bypassed.
“Don’t foresee any obstacles as far as S-400 supply to India is concerned, have routes to continue with this deal unobstructed. Sanctions – old or new, do not interfere in any way,” he said, as he underlined Moscow’s thanks to Delhi for its ‘balanced position’ as the United Nations and the global community discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“We are strategic allies with India. We are grateful to India for balanced position displayed at the UN. India understands the depth of this crisis,” Alipov said.
Alipov lashed out at the United States – seen as leading the world’s response to the war on Ukraine – and called them ‘a dictator in velvet gloves’.
“The US wants global prominence in the guise of democracy, freedom and rules-based international order – the rules it formulates under the pretence of consulting allies,” he said.
“Those who fall out of US’ line cease to become partners and become foes. It’s like black and white. There’s no in-between, no shades of grey. This is dictatorship in velvet gloves.”
The ambassador-designate also expressed sorrow over the death of an Indian student in Ukraine’s Kharkiv yesterday, and said an investigation into the killing would be launched.
Naveen Gyandagoudar, a medical student from Karnataka, died during attacks on Kharkiv, which has come under renewed fire as Moscow tries to capture it.
Russia faces the strong possibility of a resolution from an emergency special session of the United Nations, which has been meeting for the past three days to discuss the Ukraine attack.
The global body is set to vote later today on a non-binding resolution demanding Moscow withdraws its troops.
A draft resolution – seen by some diplomats as a key test of democracy in a world increasingly run by autocratic governments – is being prepared.
India, which abstained from voting on a resolution proposed by the United Nations Security Council, also abstained from a procedural vote calling for the emergency session. It has, however, made repeated calls for both sides ‘to return to diplomacy and dialogue’.
Russia on Wednesday said it was ‘ready’ to resume talks with Ukraine; the first round was held in Belarus’ Gomel earlier this week but proved inconclusive.
US President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, in which he warned Putin he had ‘badly miscalculated’ the situation.
How far the American President, widely seen as among those leading the world in support of Ukraine, will go to back his words will play a big role in how long the war drags on.