Indian Decade

Russia Says No to Dalai Lama

Russia seems to be backpedaling (under Chinese pressure) on offering the Dalai Lama a visa.

It seems the Russians are having to do some damage control after China apparently resented their equivocation over a visit by the Dalai Lama to Russia. The Russian embassy in India has tried to convince Chinese diplomats in Delhi that the Russian ambassador, Alexander Kadakin, was misquoted during his June 4 interview on the Dalai Lama during a visit to Himachal Pradesh.

The media reported that Kadakin said Russia might grant a visa to the Dalai Lama (the Tibetan spiritual leader has previously toured Russia’s Buddhist areas near the Caspian Sea, in 2004). Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has, however, criticized the Dalai Lama, and the Russian embassy replayed Lavrov’s position to soothe the Chinese.

According to a Russian official in the embassy in Delhi: ‘The Russian foreign minister has made it clear that Russia treasures the strategic partnership with China and has no intention of damaging it. For this reason, Russia’s advice to the Dalai Lama is to improve relations with Beijing and stay away from politics.’