Russia on Monday suggested that India could benefit by joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) despite New Delhi’s misgivings about the ambitious project to build trade and transport links across Asia.
Speaking at a think tank in Delhi, after talks with his Chinese and Indian counterparts, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said India’s reservations about the BRI had figured in the trilateral meeting.
“I know India has problems – we discussed it today – with the concept of One Belt, One Road, but the specific problem in this regard should not make everything else conditional to resolving political issues,” he told an audience that included National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and foreign secretary S Jaishankar.
In a report in Hindustan Times, Lavrov was quoted saying that India was a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), whose other others, including Russia, have signed up for the BRI.
“Those are the facts,” he said. “India, I am 100% convinced, has enough very smart diplomats and politicians to find a way which would allow you to benefit from this process and at the same time not to sacrifice your position.”