Moscow: Russia hailed India for thwarting any attempts by the Western nations to involve New Delhi in imposing sanctions on Russian energy purchases. This comes as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has struck back several times at the Western nations for the unfair criticism of oil purchases from Russia amid the Ukraine war.

"India does not want to join the sanctions. Indian leaders, including my colleague, Dr S Jaishankar, the External Affairs Minister, have publicly rejected any attempts to involve them in restrictions on the Russian energy purchases. They have made it clear that they will follow their own interests," Indian Embassy in Russia said quoting Russian FM Lavrov.

Speaking on the prospects of the Russian-Indian partnership, Lavrov made these comments at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) in Russia, the country's major think tank on international relations and political science.

He interacted with the MGIMO students and teaching staff on the occasion of the beginning of the academic year on September 1, 2022, and spoke extensively on the historical ties that both nations share.

He slammed the West for asking other countries to impose sanctions on Russia as the war in Eastern Europe wages on. "West is saying that it must force the entire world to stop cooperating with Russia, to impose sanctions. They "rush about" with this and proudly declare in public that they demanded that such-and-such countries should impose sanctions against Russia, otherwise they will face consequences. From the perspective of not even diplomacy, but common sense, how can they make such arrogant public statements in relation to such countries as India, China, Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia?"

The Russian FM called these Western requests an "insult" to other nations. "When these states are publicly threatened, does no one understand that such civilizations have self-esteem? It is simply insulting to hear such demands. Even if those statements would have been made "behind closed doors", still this situation shows a lack of any decorum."

He also spoke about guest commentary by Indian political scientist and economist Ullekh N.P. on India's ties with Russia.

"He explains this not only by economic interest and calculation but also by the common history of Russia and India, the deep respect that exists in India for the role that our country played in ensuring India's independence and in developing its independent economy," Lavrov said while referring to the economist's comments.

Emphasizing that Russia is satisfied with the Russian-Indian relations Lavrov noted, that President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in 2021 and they will also have the opportunity to communicate during upcoming events.

"The SCO Summit will take place this month. I will definitely communicate with my colleague Dr S Jaishankar in the near future, including at the UN General Assembly," he added.

He noted that India has always been one of Russia's key priorities.

"Let me remind you that our relations with India are now characterized as a special and privileged strategic partnership. Many years ago we agreed to call it a strategic partnership. Then our Indian friends said that this was not enough, that they had strategic partnerships with many countries, so let's call it a privileged strategic partnership. But even this was not enough. At the proposal of the Indian friends, it is now called the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership."

Speaking further on close cooperation with India in the energy sector, Lavrov said, "Russian companies work in India, Indian companies work with us in Siberia and the Far East. Close and especially confidential military-technical cooperation, including the production of appropriate modern weapons on the Indian territory. We have diversified ties in the agricultural sector, in processes that we are now trying to develop together in the so-called "green transition".

He also apprised the gathering of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant as one of the flagships of the India-Russia strategic partnership. "Substantive negotiations are now underway to prepare a site for another nuclear power plant, which will also include several units. One cannot list everything. It is indeed a relationship that is developing robustly and rests on a solid foundation of friendship since India's struggle for independence."