Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russia has backed India on the issue of non-interference of foreign powers in addressing border tensions with China

It has also welcomed the understanding reached between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on February 25, which called for the Moscow declaration to be the basis for disengagement and de-escalation in Ladakh.

In its first statement since New Delhi and Beijing launched the disengagement process in Ladakh, the Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, “We continue to monitor the situation at the China-India border. We welcome the agreements reached by the foreign ministers of China & India during the phone conversation on February 25, 2021. We respect the parties’ resolve to settle the situation without foreign interference and within the existing framework of the multi-level mechanisms of bilateral dialogue.”

Zakharova further said: “We hope that both states, being responsible members of the international community, will be able to find mutually acceptable peaceful ways to resolve the tension as soon as possible.”

The situation along the Line of Actual Control and disengagement process are understood to have figured when foreign secretary Harsh V Shringla met his counterparts in Moscow last month.

As a matter of principle, India is opposed to foreign interference in any bilateral disputes or differences.

Russia reportedly played a back-channel role in defusing tensions between India and China, including providing a platform for ministers from both countries to meet.

Moscow continued with critical defence supplies to the Indian Army throughout the entire face off period along the LAC friction points. It also decided to expedite supply of some key defence equipment to India as requested by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who visited Moscow twice last year.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, answering a query by ET in January, had pointed out that Moscow was doing its utmost to establish peace between India and China and in this context referred to the utility of Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral format. Russia was the RIC chair in 2020.

“Spoke to State Councillor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi this afternoon. Discussed the implementation of our Moscow Agreement and reviewed the status of disengagement," Jaishankar had tweeted following his telephonic conversation with Wang.

The ministers decided to set up a hotline as a Confidence Building Measure to handle LAC differences on a real-time basis.

A five-point agreement was reached between Jaishankar and Wang at a meeting in Moscow on September 10, 2020, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting.

The Moscow agreement included measures like quick disengagement of troops, avoiding action that could escalate tensions, adherence to all agreements and protocols on border management and steps to restore peace along the LAC.

The Moscow interaction has been the only face-to-face meet between the two foreign ministers so far since the border standoff.