None has supported India on Kashmir like Russia: PM
7 November 2001
The Indian Express
Moscow: In a veiled criticism of US and Western countries'' stand on Kashmir issue, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on Wednesday said none has supported India as firmly on it like Russia while others adopted the policy of discrimination. ''Nobody has supported us on Kashmir issue as much as Russia. Others have just adopted the policy of discrimination,'' Vajpayee said, recalling the famous tale of a monkey seeking to apportion eatables between two feuding cats and ending up gobbling them himself. Terming his Russia visit as ''highly successful'', the Prime Minister told members of Indian community in Moscow that President Vladimir Putin has accepted an invitation to visit India next year to sustain the summit level Indo-Russian strategic dialogue. Vajpayee expressed his ''deep satisfaction'' at his talks with President Putin and other Russian leaders and said there was consensus in both the countries on closest bilateral ties. ''Governments have changed in Russia and India but the love and friendship for each other remains in our hearts. Others simply can''t understand this phenomenon of Indo-Russian friendship,'' Vajpayee said. In an obvious reference to growing racial attacks against Asians in Russia, Vajpayee assured the Indian community that the government of India was aware of the problem caused by the worsening of law and order situation. ''The Russian authorities are doing their best to improve law and order situation in the country,'' he said urging the Indian community to ''bear the transient hardships''. ''I have been here many times but never before felt such an atmosphere on warmth in this country,'' Vajpayee said. He said that he noticed astonishing changes in Russia since his last visit to this country in mid-nineties as the leader of an Indian Parliamentary delegation. ''While travelling from my hotel to Moscow state university for receiving the honorary doctorate, I was all the time wondering: is it Russia or some prosperous Western capital?'' Vajpayee said.