The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement on social media where it has metaphorically spanked Shekhar Gupta’s The Print for publishing fake news regarding the postponement of the India-Russia annual summit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia (MFA, Russia) said that The Print’s “attempt to create a sensation from nothing failed and looked ludicrous and helpless.”
❌ @ThePrintIndia's attempt to create a sensation from nothing failed and looked ludicrous and helpless. We hope that the outlet will draw necessary conclusions and will from now on focus on facts, rather than flashy headlines aimed at attracting attention https://t.co/76wo4pKk4i pic.twitter.com/zIdKhPP3L9— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) January 23, 2021
The MFA, Russia stated on Facebook that the media was informed that “even though the COVID-19 pandemic had changed the schedule of contacts and delayed the annual summit, it had not become an obstacle to the strengthening of friendly ties between our countries.”
In a statement, the Russian government said, “During the event, members of the media were informed about the well-known position of Moscow: Russia welcomes the commitment of its Indian partners to the promotion of inclusive formats of regional cooperation as opposed to the division that a number of other countries are trying to impose, as they build their policies in the spirit of containment.”
Furthermore, the statement added that their Indian counterpart had raised the sensationalist report by The Print “emphasising that in 2020, the summit, with the mutual agreement of the parties, had not taken place due to the pandemic, and insinuations of any other kind were invalid.”
It added, “The Indian Foreign Ministry noted separately that the spread of false information about important bilateral relations was “particularly irresponsible.”” The report in question was published on the 23rd of December, 2020.
“The Print’s attempt to create a sensation from nothing failed and looked even more ludicrous and helpless amid dozens of other articles published following the briefing which described various aspects of Russian-Indian relations in a constructive and correct manner. We hope that The Print editors will draw the necessary conclusions and will from now on focus on facts, rather than flashy headlines aimed at attracting attention,” MFA, Russia stated.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had cited The Print report to target the NDA Government at the Center. Gandhi wrote, “Russia is a very important friend of India. Damaging our traditional relationships is short-sighted and dangerous for our future.”
The Print report had claimed that Russia had “expressed severe reservations on New Delhi joining the Indo-Pacific initiative and Quad, thereby tilting more towards the US.” Russian Ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev, had junked the report and said that it was “far from reality”.