Russia on Monday came out in support of India’s “surgical strikes” along the line of control (LoC), saying every country has the right to defend itself, the first P-5 country to back New Delhi openly.
“Greatest human rights violations take place when terrorists attack military installations and attack peaceful civilians in India. We welcome the surgical strike. Every country has right to defend itself,” Russian ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin said.
Russia was the only country to say in plain words that terrorists came from Pakistan, Kadakin said, asking Islamabad to put an end to cross-border terror.
The Russian ambassador made the comments in an interview to CNN News 18.
Indian soldiers in an early morning raid on September 29 had struck militants who were planning to infiltrate into India from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
The lightning strikes were in response to an attack on an army base in Uri in northern Kashmir that left 19 soldiers dead.
The other four permanent members of the UN security council – the US, the UK, China and France -- have chosen not to mention the surgical strikes, which Pakistan says was nothing but cross-border firing.
Russia is the first major world power to use the term “surgical strike”.
In the neighbourhood, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, too, have backed India and were the first to join Delhi in opting out of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit that Pakistan was to host in November.
Kadakin also tried to allay Indian concerns over the Russia-Pakistan military exercise, the first war games between the two countries. He said the exercise didn’t take place in “Pakistan-Occupied Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”.
“India should not be concerned about military exercises between Russia and Pakistan because the theme of the exercise is anti-terror fighting”, he said.
The exercise was in India’s interest as “we teach Pakistani army not to use itself for terror attacks against India”, the envoy said.
“And the exercise was not held in any sensitive or problematic territories like Pakistan-occupied Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”, the Russian diplomat said.