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Kashmir issue should be resolved bilaterally: Russia

Source: PTI
December 03, 2002 20:13 IST
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Russia has said cross-border terrorism is the main stumbling block in normalisation of Indo-Pak ties and expressed its opposition to the internationalisation of the Kashmir problem.

In an article in the influential Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily on Tuesday, Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin said it is a "wrong premise" that the Kashmir issue is the main stumbling block in the normalisation of Indo-Pak relations.

"End of cross-border terrorist acts and normalisation of bilateral relations between India and Pakistan will remove hurdles in resolving it [Kashmir issue]," Kadakin stressed.

"Pre-crisis situation in India-Pakistan relations in the summer of 2002 demonstrated that terrorism is capable of damaging the system of international relations and global stability if there is a temptation to project international banditism as 'freedom struggle' or to use it for achieving foreign policy goals," he said.

Kadakin's comments come as Russian President Vladimir Putin begins a three-day visit to India on Tuesday.

"It [the Kashmir issue] should be resolved through bilateral dialogue on the basis of Simla and Lahore agreements," he said.

He stressed that while pursuing a policy of "open and balanced" diplomacy in South Asia, Moscow does not intend to "don the robe of a mediator".

Kadakin said India and Russia share a "common vision" on the problems of peace and stability in South Asia.

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