Russia on Saturday supported India’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia said that changes in the status of the region were “within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of India”, PTI reported.

“Moscow expects that India and Pakistan will not allow aggravation of the situation in the region due to the change by Delhi in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” the Russian Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying. “We hope that the differences between them will be resolved by political and diplomatic means on a bilateral basis in accordance with the provisions of the Simla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1999.”

This came a day after the Chinese government said that it was “seriously concerned” about the Indian government’s recent decisions on Jammu and Kashmir. China had urged India and Pakistan to resolve their differences bilaterally based on the United Nations charter and the 1972 Simla Agreement.

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday gave his assent to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which seeks to convert the state into a Union Territory and to separate Ladakh into another union territory. Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh will come into existence as union territories on October 31.

Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India over Kashmir, responded to India’s decisions by downgrading diplomatic ties, suspending bilateral trade, and halting the Samjhauta Express and Thar train services between the two countries. India said Pakistan’s reaction was meant to present an “alarming picture” of bilateral relations to the international community. India added that Jammu and Kashmir was its integral part and hence it was an internal matter.