New Delhi: Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov on Friday emphasised his support for India's permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
"We are strongly in support of India's permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council. We have been very vocal about it," the Russian ambassador said during a virtual press conference in New Delhi.
This support from Moscow comes as New Delhi has been at the forefront of the efforts at the UN to push for long-pending reforms of the security council.
At present, the UNSC comprises five permanent members and 10 non-permanent member countries which are elected for a two-year term by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
During the press briefing, the Russian envoy denied Moscow's plans to occupy any Ukrainian territory and contended that his country wants to end the war in Ukraine provided any display or will by the other side.
He also stressed that Russia did not create, but reacted to the provocation that NATO and the United States created.
"We want to end the hostilities. But when this will end, I can't say. We don't have any plans to occupy any Ukrainian territory. We are ready to stop hostilities at any moment provided any display of will by Ukraine," said the Russian envoy.
"The partial mobilization is also indicative of the escalation. We also stand to stop the hostilities and to sit and engage, provided the other party is ready," he added.
On being asked when the war will end, the Russian ambassador said that it was a difficult question to answer as the other side was speaking about continuing the military answers.
"It is a very difficult question We are prepared to cease hostilities. You know President Putin also told Prime Minister Narendra Modi. An agreement on stopping hostilities can be achieved, but the other side is speaking about continuing the military action", he said.
Answering the question of Mexico formally proposing the creation of a peace committee with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to find an end to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Russian ambassador said that it is a proposal by Mexicans to Indians.
"We hear about such ideas but I cannot comment on that. It Will be interesting to know what the Indian reaction will be. It is a proposal by Mexicans to Indians", he said.
Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard yesterday said that to bolster the mediation efforts of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, a panel for dialogue and peace in Ukraine should be created with Modi, Pope Francis and other leaders.
On the proposed price cap on Russian oil by the G7 countries, the Russian Ambassador said that it is only going to increase the price of oil in the market and that Europe is buying the oil from Russia and bypassing it via the mechanism.
"I don't have the precise number of how many, but they buy Russian oil very much. They speak about banning Russian oil and themselves are bypassing it via mechanism", he said.
"With the price cap that the US proposes, I would believe that India is going to pursue its own interest in the situation if such steps get implemented. We won't trade and cooperate to our detriment", he added.
Looking at RIC (Russia-India-China) as a 'promising mechanism', the envoy said that this would help build trust between the participant.
"We believe that this is a promising mechanism that should be enhanced. This trilateral dialogue would help build trust between all participants and be helpful to promote a unified agenda and interest of the world at large.", he said.
"As External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar reiterated that the future of Asia lies in the cooperation of India-China, we are very supportive of such an approach. We stand for developing an atmosphere of trust", he added.
Further calling India-China border standoff a bilateral matter, the Russian ambassador though said that Russian encourages peaceful resolution to the bilateral dispute.
"We don't want to get involved in the resolution of bilateral disputes between India and China. We only encourage the two to find a quick and peaceful resolution to border disputes, unlike some countries who only encourage suspicions of India towards China & vice verse", he said.
"We don't support such an attitude. We stand for those disputes to be resolved solely between India & China for the benefit of both parties. We don't see any other role in this dialogue", he added.
When asked about the S-400 missile system, the Russian Ambassador added that the deliveries are going as per the schedule and any delays in defence-related issues are "not because of the Ukraine conflict".
"The S-400 missile system deliveries (from Russia to India) are going according to schedule and any delays in defence-related issues are not because of the Ukraine conflict", said the envoy.
On reports of Pakistan supplying defence equipment to Ukraine, the Russian Ambassador said that this will have a negative impact on ties between the two countries.
"We have seen reports. Such reports, facts, deliveries if taken place, it would have a negative impact towards our ties and relationships with Pakistan that is obvious", said the Russian Ambassador.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in his televised speech earlier announced that if the territorial integrity of Russia is threatened, the country will without a doubt use all available means to protect its people. Putin reiterated the alleged threat by saying, "This is not a bluff."
Putin also ordered a partial mobilization of civilians on Wednesday to fight in Ukraine with the intent to bolster his forces.