India Joins UK In Slamming Russia For Attack On Ex-Spy Comments
NEW DELHI: India agreed to a condemnation of the Russian nerve agent attack in Salisbury in a joint statement with the UK, in a sign that New Delhi isn’t convinced by Russia’s protestations of innocence and is possibly signaling its own annoyance over Moscow’s praise of Pakistan’s anti-terror efforts.
PM Narendra Modi and Theresa May released a joint statement after their talks on Wednesday, where they said, “In the wake of the appalling nerve agent attack in Salisbury, the UK and India have reiterated their shared interest in strengthening the disarmament and non-proliferation regimes against the spread and use of chemical weapons.” Though Russia was not named in the statement, the indication was clear enough in the reference to the Salisbury incident.
The statement emphasized “need for urgent investigations and underline that the conduct of all investigations of any use of chemical weapons must be strictly in accordance with the provisions of the (chemical weapons) Convention.”
India had abstained in a vote in the UN on a proposal moved by Russia seeking a joint probe into the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. If Russia had read India’s abstention as a sign of support, it would have to rethink after the joint statement.
In recent months, Russia has moved from its pro-India stance to build new bridges with Pakistan even as it buried its suspicions of China. The remarks of the Russian ambassador in India Nikolay Kudashev’s that Pakistan has taken strong measures to counter terrorist financing could not have gone down well with the Indian government.
On terrorism, the two sides reaffirmed a decision deny space to radical groups. “The leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation to take decisive and concerted actions against globally-proscribed terrorists and terror entities to protect their citizens, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Haqqani Network, Al Qaeda, ISIS (Da’esh) and their affiliates, as well as tackling the online radicalization…” Technology and innovation, trade and investment and the future of work and jobs formed the greater part of the agreements between the two countries.