MOSCOW, Dec 16 (IANS): Russia Friday reaffirmed its support for a permanent seat for India in an expanded United Nation Security Council (UNSC) with President Dmitry Medvedev terming it "a strong candidate" for a place on the international body's high table.
"India is a strong candidate for a permanent membership in the UNSC," Medvedev said at a joint press conference he addressed along with visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after their summit level talks here.
He also called for the other permanent members of the UNSC -- the US, France, Britain, and China -- to affirm their support for India, as also all other members of the United Nations itself, as and when the UNSC reforms are carried out.
Four members of the five-member UNSC, except China, have openly backed India's permanent membership to the high body. There have been calls that China should reciprocate the support that India had extended it in 1949 after a revolution effected a regime change in Beijing.
In a joint statement for "furthering the India-Russia strategic partnership to meet the challenges of a changing world" adopted by the two leaders at their summit, Russia expressed "strong support" to India for a permanent seat in an expanded UNSC.
The statement said both sides reaffirmed their commitment to work together to strengthen the central coordinating role of the UN in international affairs as well as the crucial role of the Security Council in maintaining international peace and security.
In this context, the two sides reiterated their agreement to further strengthen their cooperation on issues related to the reform of the UN and the Security Council and stressed that the reforms should be carried out in a manner that makes the UNSC more representative and effective in dealing with both present and emerging challenges.
The two sides also expressed satisfaction at their cooperation in the UNSC since January, when India joined the council as a non-permanent member, and agreed to take this cooperation forward.
India and Russia had cooperated on a Western nations sponsored resolution in the UNSC condemning Syria for its measures against domestic protesters and possible sanctions. While Russia and China vetoed the resolution, Brazil, India and South Africa, all part of the BRICS grouping, abstained, along with Lebanon.