New Delhi: A trilateral meet between Russia, China and India will be held online on June 23, Moscow has announced amid the escalation of the face-off in Ladakh. Announcing the date this evening, a spokesperson of the Russian foreign ministry said, “During this talk, the ministers will exchange their views on current political, economic and financial trials following the pandemic as well as opportunities to overcome the existing crisis”.
There has been no confirmation from the foreign ministry. Much depends on how the two nations resolve the issue. Foreign minister S Jaishankar had a telephone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi today, where he emphasized that the Ladakh incident was pre-planned and premeditated. The “unprecedented development”, he also said, will have a “serious impact on the bilateral relationship” unless China takes “corrective steps,
The two ministers, however, signed off on a note of de-escalating tension, saying “Neither side would take any action to escalate matters and instead, ensure peace and tranquility as per bilateral agreements and protocols.”
On Monday evening, a clash in Ladakh’s Galwan valley area cost the lives of 20 Indian soldiers. The Chinese side also sustained losses, after which Beijing blamed Indian for the clashes and its mouthpiece, the Global Times, made a series of belligerent remarks.
The sudden and fatal violence on Monday evening came after weeks-long face-off at various spots in Ladakh and the skirmish near Pangong Lake in early May. Three of the soldiers died on the spot following close combat. Another 17 died later. The army has said their condition was worsened by the sub-zero temperature in the area.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the sacrifice of the soldiers will not go in vain. In a strong message to China, he added: “India’s integrity and sovereignty is supreme for us, and no one can stop us from defending it. Nobody should have any iota of doubt about this. India wants peace but when provoked, it is capable of giving a fitting reply, be it any situation”.