Russian Ambassador to India Nikolai Kudashev said on Friday that those foreign envoys who doubt India’s policies in Kashmir visited the Union Territory earlier this week, ANI reported. “Those who are concerned about the situation in Kashmir, those who put in doubt the Indian policies in Kashmir, they could travel if they wish,” Kudashev said. “We never had a doubt.”
Kudashev said he does not feel a need to visit Kashmir. Asked about China’s attempt to raise the Kashmir matter at the United Nations Security Council, Kudashev said the matter is a bilateral one between India and Pakistan, PTI reported.
India had on August 5 last year abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and imposed prohibitory orders in the state. The restrictions are slowly being lifted, and mobile internet as well as SMS connectivity are now partially available. However, some curbs continue to remain in place, and several political leaders are still in detention.
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Roman Babushkin said that the production of S-400 missiles has begun. “All S-400 air defence missile systems will be delivered to India by 2025,” he said.
In October 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a deal for the supply of the S-400 Triumf missile system from Moscow to New Delhi. The deal was signed despite a warning by the United States that it would impose sanctions on India if the agreement went through. Under new US laws, countries that sign deals with Russian defence or intelligence sectors can face secondary sanctions.
In April 2019, then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the United States administration has “heard and understood” India’s deal to purchase S-400 missile defence system from Russia. US President Donald Trump’s administration had imposed sanctions on China’s military in 2018 over Beijing’s purchase of the S-400 and other military hardware from Russia.