‘We will support India against its neighbours’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘We will support India against its neighbours’

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said, on Wednesday, that Russia would support India if it ever had to take a hard decision against “a friendly neighbouring country”.

mumbai Updated: Dec 23, 2010 01:27 IST
Kiran Wadhwa

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said, on Wednesday, that Russia would support India if it ever had to take a hard decision against “a friendly neighbouring country”.

Addressing a query raised by a student at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), Medvedev said, “India and Russia have special relations and it is not a figure of speech. The decision of using weapons is a prerogative of India... we are ready to help and assist as we are already doing.

“I’m not disclosing a state secret, but when I visited India four days after the Mumbai terror attacks I told them (the government) a simple thing, if India needs our assistance in terms of anti-terrorism we are ready to provide weapons, modern technology and know-how,” said the dynamic 45-year-old president as he addressed a hall filled with students and faculty members.

The president had requested a visit to the elite engineering institute because it was established with the help of the then USSR government.

Dressed in an open neck blue shirt and black suit, the President was greeted with loud applause although he walked in almost an hour late. “It was not that I woke up late but the airport was shut for an hour,” he said.

As he began the interaction, his only request to students was “not to be strict with their questions.” The request fell flat when a student asked him how Russia would react if they had a terror attack like Mumbai and if their agencies were sure that the attack was rooted in Pakistan. “You all don't ask complicated questions, but extremely complicated questions. But complicated questions have simple answers.” He did not rule out use of armed force to protect the interests of the country and its citizens. “Let me not give any linkage with a specific country due to ethical reasons. But if Russia is attacked from a foreign state and were are sure that the terrorists are housed by that foreign state, we will defend our national interests and even employ armed forces,” Medvedev said.

Although he added that military force is not a solution. “One should not resort to unreasonable ways if there are others ways,” he said.

He also reiterated what he had said in Delhi on supporting India's bid for a permanent seat in the Security Council.