Russia’s ambassador to India: the quotable Alexander Kadakin
Russian President Vladimir Putin is coming to India this week to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to discuss ways to improve relations. Moscow and New Delhi enjoyed warm ties during the days of the Soviet Union, when India was a member of a non-aligned bloc of nations. The friendship recently has become strained as India relies more on U.S. and French companies to meet its defence needs, something that chafes Russia as it deals with sanctions from western nations over Ukraine. Russia meanwhile has alarmed Indian public opinion with a recent visit by its defence minister to Pakistan. Russia’s ambassador Alexander Kadakin, a veteran diplomat first posted to New Delhi more than 40 years ago, discussed Putin’s visit at a press conference on Monday. Here are some of his remarks.
On the nature of the talks: “Undoubtedly, the upcoming visit will be saturated with unprecedentedly fruitful talks, efficient and productive to the maximum.”
On Western pressure against Russia: “These daydreaming minions should better get rid of illusions that Russia would ever act under anybody’s diktat or pressure. Who are they to dictate to us? Dictations are means for those greenhorn neophytes with no moustache who recently joined or are loathing at the doorsteps eager to join military blocks or other ‘non-traditional’ partnerships…”
On energy: Russia has gifted energy resources to India in the past, and doesn’t do this for “every Jack, Tim or Harry”.
On Indian fighter pilots after reports of hard landings on Russian-built aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya: “You do have excellent pilots and Indian pilots are famous across the world, but some of your pilots are like young people … They behave like cowboys. They are rash drivers.”
On oligarchs: “Putin’s business delegation will comprise ’15 Russian strongmen'”.
On President Barack Obama courting India: “We don’t feel jealous, though of course I say that India is a very rich fiancee. It is good for a rich fiancee to have a beautiful bridegroom. But they should not promise you a marriage and then betray you.”
On a “multi-polar world“: “We want to have a multi-coloured polyphonic world which plays like a symphony orchestra.”