By Naveen Kapoor
New Delhi [India], June 1 (ANI) Russia has said there is no dispute between BRICS member states in an apparent downplaying of friction in ties between India and China which are at "crossroads" following actions of Chinese army in eastern Ladkah last year.
Replying to ANI question at a press conference from Moscow, Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, "There is no dispute among BRICS members. All BRICS member states stressed the need to strengthen the multilateral system, not in a narrow format, but exclusively in the universal format based on the UN Charter," he said.
India on Tuesday chaired the BRICS foreign ministers meeting in a virtual format.
In his opening remarks External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told BRICS leaders that the grouping has come a long way as it is based on the United Nations' charter that recognizes sovereign equality of all states and respect for their territorial integrity.
"We have come a long way from the first time our foreign ministers met in New York in 2006. But the principles that guide our grouping remain consistent over the years. We strive for a fair, just, inclusive, equitable and representative multi-polar international system. It is one based on international law and the UN Charter, that recognizes the sovereign equality of all states and respects their territorial integrity while displaying mutual respect for interests and concerns of all. It is only by conducting our policies in accordance with these principles that we can expect to bring about the change we desire," he said.
Foreign ministers of all BRICS countries, including Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi were present when Jaishankar underlined sovereignty and territorial integrity in his opening remarks.
China and India were engaged in a bitter standoff last year in eastern Ladakh. Soldiers from both sides lost their lives in a bloody escalation in Galwan Valley.
India accused China of violating its territorial integrity. Several meetings between Chinese and Indian defence and diplomatic leadership took place after the clashes and the process of disengagement is still incomplete. However, tensions have relatively eased between the two Asian giants.
Russian foreign minister also said that Russian missile defence system S400 will be delivered to India on time and there is no change in the contract.
"There is no change in the S-400 contract. The Indian leadership has reaffirmed its commitments to these agreements," he said.
In BRICS meeting, Russia reiterated its support to India in its fight against COVID-19.
The Russian Foreign Minister told ANI that another shipment of Sputnik V vaccine has been sent to India.
" Today, we have sent another shipment of Sputnik V vaccine to India as a follow up to massive steps we have made to provide assistance to India,"he said. (ANI)