With Russia facing sanctions from the US and some other countries after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine, India yesterday made it clear that it will not support any "unilateral measures" against Russian government.
"India has never supported unilateral sanctions against any country e.g. Iraq or Iran. Therefore, we will also not support any unilateral measures by a country or a group of countries," sources in the government said here.
The remarks came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin explained the situation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who underlined India's position on "unity and territorial integrity" of countries and hoped a diplomatic solution would be found to the issue.
On Tuesday, Putin thanked India for taking a “restrained and objective” stand on Russia's muscle flexing in Ukraine.
Addressing a joint meeting of the Russian Parliament on Tuesday on the occasion of Crimea's reunification with Russia Putin singled out China and India as the countries that showed understanding for Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis.
“We are grateful to all those who understood our actions in Crimea,” he said. “We are grateful to the people of China, whose leadership sees the situation in Crimea in all its historical and political integrity. We highly appreciate India's restraint and objectivity.”
India did not join the Western powers' condemnation of Russia's intervention in Crimea and kept a low profile on the issue.
Earlier this month, national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon had said, "There are legitimate Russian and other interests involved and we hope they are discussed and resolved."
The US and the EU have imposed sanctions on several officials from Russia and Ukraine accused of involvement in Moscow's actions in the Black Sea peninsula. Australia has also announced its decision to impose financial and travel sanctions on a dozen political figures from the region.