Amid tension with China. there have been at least two outreaches between India and Russia through diplomatic channels.
Early this month, before the June 6 Lieutenant General-level talks between India and China, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla “updated” Russian Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev on the “recent developments” on the situation along the Line of Actual Control.
Later, after the June 15 clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley, Indian Ambassador to Russia D Bala Venkatesh Varma had a conversation with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov on June 17. “The officials discussed regional security, including developments on the Line of Actual Control on the border between India and China in the Himalayas,” a brief statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry said. The Indian government did not issue a statement on this.
While India and China have been talking at each other, and not to each other, the outreach to Moscow is noteworthy. During the Doklam crisis in 2017, Russian diplomats in Beijing were among the few briefed by the Chinese government. At that time, it was kept under the wraps.
On the events in Galwan, Moscow responded in a very calibrated manner last week. On June 17, Russian Ambassador Kudashev tweeted, “We welcome all steps aimed at de-escalation at the LAC, including the conversation between the two FMs, and remain optimistic.” According to Russian news agency TASS, Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin is concerned over a clash between the military on the border between China and India but believes that the two countries could resolve this conflict themselves.
“Certainly, we are watching with great attention what is happening on the Chinese-Indian border. We believe that this is a very alarming report,” Peskov said. “But we consider that the two countries are capable of taking necessary steps to prevent such situations in the future and to ensure that there is predictability and stability in the region and that this is a safe region for nations, first of all, China and India.”
The Kremlin spokesman emphasised that China and India are Russia’s close partners and allies, and “have very close and mutually beneficial relations built on mutual respect”.