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‘Never wanted them’: Russia on Indians being recruited in Army to fight against Ukraine | India News

NEW DELHI: Russia on Wednesday said that it is hoping for a quick resolution to the issue of Indians recruited into the Russian army as support staff. Roman Babushkin, Russia’s charge d’affaires emphasised that the recruitment of Indians was purely a commercial matter. He asserted that Moscow never intended for Indians to be part of its army and that their number was insignificant in the context of the conflict.
“We are on the same side with the Indian government on the issue…We hope that the issue will be resolved soon,” Babushkin said during a media briefing.
He stressed that the issue should not be politicised, saying, “Let us be very clear, we have never wanted Indians to be part of the Russian Army. You would never see any announcement by Russian authorities on this.” He added that most of the Indians were recruited under a commercial framework as they wanted to “make money” and that their number, whether 50, 60 or 100 people, does not make any significance in terms of the wider conflict.
His comments followed Russia’s promise to ensure the early release and return of Indian nationals working in the Russian military, after PM Modi “very strongly” raised the issue with President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian diplomat also pointed out that most of the Indians recruited as support staff are working illegally, as they do not have appropriate visas and entered Russia on tourist visas.
When asked about compensation and Russian citizenship for the families of those killed, Babushkin said that it “should happen anyway as per the contractual obligations.”
Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra, during his visit to Moscow on Tuesday, said that the Russian side promised early discharge of all Indian nationals from the service of the Russian Army, a matter that was strongly raised by PM Modi during his informal talks with President Putin. The two sides will work on expediting the process of bringing the Indians back home.

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