New Delhi: Modi government should look at de-escalating the tension around the implementation of the amended Citizenship Act and issues should be resolved by dialogue, said a Russian diplomat.
Speaking to reporters Monday, Roman Babushkin, deputy chief of mission, Russian Embassy, said, “We are not interfering, this is a domestic matter. But if there are issues, it should be resolved by dialogue and the situation should be de-escalated.”
Babushkin’s statement comes after the Russian government issued a travel advisory last week urging its citizens to exercise caution before visiting any part of India that might be affected due to protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
“We were not briefed (by the Ministry of External Affairs) on this matter … The (travel) advisory was for our citizens and it still remains. We are following the developments closely. We remain concerned about the safety of our citizens,” Babushka said.
The travel advisory was issued last week on 19 December where the Russian government had asked its citizens who are in India or those who were planning to visit the country to be “vigilant, cautious, avoid crowds and refrain from visiting areas controlled by protesters.”
#Zakharova: Russian nationals currently in #India or planning to visit the country soon are advised to be vigilant and cautious, avoid crowds and refrain from visiting areas controlled by protestors. Follow our updates. pic.twitter.com/K875NHCEEm
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) December 19, 2019
Protests have been going on in most parts of the country against the newly-amended Citizenship Act, and intensified after police action on student protests in Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University on 15 December.
PM Narendra Modi on Sunday tried to allay fears by saying that there was no discussion on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in his government and that the CAA is not for any Indian citizen. He added that there has been a “concerted misinformation campaign spread by the Congress” and the people BJP supporters often characterise as urban Naxals.
‘Modi and Putin to meet many times in 2020’
Russia’s Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are slated to meet “many times” in the coming year as both will be participating in several bilateral and multilateral events.
The Ambassador also said Russia will also focus on the implementation of the Kudankolam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu in 2020 and expand localisation and joint production as well as cooperation with other countries.
He also said both Russia and India will focus on “timely and successful implementation” of military contracts worth over $14.5 billion. Additionally, both sides will also look at implementing the inter-governmental agreement aimed at pushing forward joint development and production of military equipment and spare parts.