India Unlikely to Participate in RIC Meet Until Border Situation with China Normalises: Report
Last Updated: March 08, 2023, 17:01 IST
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with newly appointed Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang last week during G-20 meet. (Credits: Twitter/S Jaishankar)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow wants India and China to become friends and announced that a meeting of the multilateral grouping would be held later this year
India is unlikely to participate in a meeting of the Russia-India-China (RIC) grouping until the border situation between New Delhi and Beijing normalises, a report has said.
The foreign ministers of the three countries meet periodically to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest, Business Standard reported.
The three countries have not met since the Ukraine war began in 2022, while the leaders have not met in person since June 2019. A foreign minister level meeting in November 2021 was the last time the countries met at any level.
The development comes a week after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in India that Moscow wants India and China to become friends and announced that a meeting of the multilateral grouping would be held later this year.
The move was seen as Russia’s effort to counter the Western narrative that Moscow is left without diplomatic allies.
India has not condemned Russia for its aggression in Ukraine and it has reiterated to find a peaceful solution to the crisis through dialogue and diplomacy.
India said that the situation at the India-China border in Ladakh needs to be normalised before the meetings can be held.
“The RIC has not met for some time due to changed realities in India’s own neighbourhood and the wider world. Any decision to have the RIC meeting would have to take these into account. Specifically, the situation at the Chinese border needs to be normalised before the meetings can be held,” an official told Business Standard.
On the sidelines of the foreign ministers’ meet, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met newly appointed Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, the first meeting between the two country after the recent standoff and stressed bilateral relations with Beijing remain “abnormal”. He added that peace and tranquility is a must for any normalisation in relations.
The official further said that the military stand-off between the two nations needs to be resolved first.
The ties between India and China are at their lowest in the past 60 years since the brutal clash at Galwan Valley in June 2020.
“The Chinese aggression at the border has affected a range of multilateral efforts involving China and India, not only the RIC. For the level of discussions at RIC to go back to where they were earlier, the continuing military stand-off in Ladakh needs to be resolved first,” another official said.
The RIC is a significant group since it brings together the three largest Eurasian countries that are also geographically vast.
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