PTI

 India-Russia relations have held “very, very steady” and “we take great care” to make sure that the relationship is working, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said.

During a conversation at the Council on Foreign Relations here on Tuesday, Jaishankar said that Russia’s relationship with Europe and the West has been “so severely disrupted” in the wake of the February 2022 Ukraine war that Moscow is actually turning to Asia and other parts of the world.

“The India-Russia relationship has actually held very, very steady,” he said, adding that there has been the Soviet period and post-Soviet period.

“Part of it is that I think there is an understanding in both countries that as big powers in the Asian continent, there is a kind of structural basis for having to get along, wanting to get along. And so we take great care to make sure the relationship is working,” Jaishankar said hours after addressing the 78th UN General Assembly session.

Jaishankar said that Russia has historically seen itself as a European power, even though it's spread across both Europe and Asia.

“My expectation would be” that because its relationship with Europe and with the West has been so severely disrupted since 2022,“ he said, apparently referring to the US-led sanctions on Moscow for invading Ukraine.

"Russia is actually turning to Asia and to other parts of the world, but primarily to Asia because that's where a lot of economic activity is and it is also an Asian power even though it has not always seen itself primarily as that”, Jaishankar said.

"I would actually predict that Russia would make very strenuous efforts to build alternative relationships, a lot of which would be in Asia. And this would reflect itself in economics and trade, possibly in other domains, as well." He added: “I know that Russia-China would have a particular profile, a particular salience in this, but I would also say that our own relationship with Russia has been extremely steady since the mid-50s. And it's interesting if you look at the last 70 years of world politics, US-Russia, Russia-China, Europe-Russia, almost every one of these relationships has had very big ups and downs. There've been very bad periods in that relationship and good periods but the India-Russia relationship has actually held very, very steady".

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