New Delhi responds to Russian minister’s visit to Islamabad.

Two days after the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, India on Thursday reiterated that the “time tested ties” with Moscow were not dependent on third parties. India’s comments were prompted over reports that suggested growing military ties between Russia and Pakistan.

“The visit of the Russian Foreign Minister was a good opportunity to review and renew our special and privileged partnership. A broad range of issues were discussed. India’s close, time-tested and strategic relations with Russia stand on their own merit and are not influenced by relations with other countries,” said Arindam Bagchi, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs in response to a question.

Mr. Lavrov visited Delhi during April 5-6 when he met with External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar. However, there was no meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as expected. Both sides discussed multiple issues like the peace process in Afghanistan and the defence partnership.

Mr. Lavrov then flew to Islamabad where he held talks with Shah Mahmood Qureshi, his Pakistani counterpart.

During interactions in Islamabad, Mr. Lavrov agreed to deepen military ties with Pakistan and conveyed Moscow’s plans to hold more military exercises with the country. Mr Lavrov also met Chief of Pakistan Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

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