Picture: Courtesy ANI

New Delhi. 22 August 2019. National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval visited Moscow yesterday at the invitation of Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian National Security Council. Russia is India’s all weather ally , old friend and strategic partner and like the close friend it is , Russia reiterated that Kashmir is a bilateral issue.

Just before the informal UNSC meeting, Russia’s representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, made it clear that the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir should be “resolved bilaterally between India and Pakistan.” After the meeting, he allegedly tweeted that the issue should be resolved “on the basis of Simla (Shimla) Agreement of 1972 and Lahore Declaration of 1999.

The visit of the NSA though as per the Ministry of External Affairs is more routine than to say thank you to its old ally. NSA’s talks with his Russian counterpart covered preparations for PM’s visit to Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum in early September, bilateral cooperation between the two National Security Councils as well as regional and international issues. The discussions based on mutual trust and confidence showed identical or close positions on various issues characteristic of the Special and Privileged Strategic partnership between the two countries.

Both sides reaffirmed their intention to intensify counter terrorism cooperation. The longstanding position of both sides on importance of their bilateral consultations and mutual support for principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference of third parties was reiterated.

Doval also met Director of ROSCOSMOS Dmitry Rogozin to review ongoing cooperation in the space field and the Gaganyaan programme. Rogozin applauded the progress of the Chandrayaan programme and conveyed Russia’s support and best wishes for the Mission’s success. Both sides also discussed long term aspects of space cooperation, which is expected to figure prominently in the Bilateral summit in Vladivostok.