MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. Moscow is ready to provide assistance for de-escalation between Islamabad and New Delhi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a phone conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday.
"Russia stressed the need for all countries to observe a provision on universal counter-terrorism conventions and cooperate for their implementation," the Foreign Ministry said, noting the possibility of using for these goals the mechanism of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
"Moscow expressed its readiness to contribute to de-escalating tensions and that there is no alternative to settling all differences between Islamabad and New Delhi by political and diplomatic means," the ministry stressed.
Tensions in relations between India and Pakistan flared up on February 14 when a suicide bomber rammed his car filled with explosives into an Indian paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir, killing 45. The Jaish-e-Mohammed group claimed responsibility for the attack.
New Delhi accused Islamabad of supporting terrorists who allegedly carry out raids on Indian territory from Pakistan-based camps. In addition, India claimed to have evidence proving that Pakistani military and its intelligence agencies could be behind the attack. In response, Islamabad rejected these accusations.
The next day, India carried out an airstrike on this group’s camp in a Kashmir area controlled by Pakistan. The Pakistani Air Force retaliated by targeting military facilities of Jammu and Kashmir. New Delhi and Islamabad also claimed that they had shot down each other’s jets during a skirmish in the skies.