LIVE UPDATES: MEA explains reasons for cancellation of India-Russia annual summit after Rahul Gandhi’s hard-hitting attack


The Indian ministry of external affairs has explained the reasons for the cancellation of the India-Russia annual summit for the first time in two decades after Congress MP Rahul Gandhi called the development ‘short-sighted and dangerous.’ The MEA, in its statement, said that there was no truth to media reports claiming that Russia’s unhappiness over India joining the Quadrilateral coalition or Quad was the reason for the cancellation of the annual meet.

MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “The India-Russia Annual Summit did not take place in 2020 because of the COVID pandemic. This was a mutually agreed decision between the two governments. Any imputation otherwise is false and misleading. Spreading false stories in important relationships is particularly irresponsible.”

Quoting a media report, Gandhi had tweeted on Wednesday, “Russia is a very important friend of India. Damaging our traditional relationships is short-sighted and dangerous for our future.”

The Quad countries comprise of US, India, Japan and Australia and are seen as a response to China’s growing agression in the South China Sea region.

LIVE UPDATES on today’s big stories will appear below:

16:02 PM: Delhi: Basketball player Satnam Singh joins farmers’ protest at Singhu border. “We stand with farmers. We have come to offer our services so they don’t face any problems,” he says. (ANI)

15:19 PM: #Odisha Chief Minister #NaveenPatnaik on Thursday announced that a new world-class #hockey stadium, which would be the largest stadium for the sport in the country, will be built in #Rourkela. (IANS)

14:51 PM: #COVID19 positive woman who allegedly managed to give the slip to authorities in Delhi after her arrival from UK recently and reach Andhra Pradesh by train picked up from Rajamahendravaram and admitted to hospital along with her son: Officials. (PTI)

13:47 PM: In a shocking development, the #MumbaiPolice arrested the Deputy Dean of the BMC-run #LokmanyaTilakMunicipalGeneralHospital, Sion, in an alleged case of cheating a medical student, officials said here on Thursday. (IANS)

12:46 PM: PM Modi is making money for the crony capitalists. Whoever will try to stand against him will be called terrorist – be it farmers, labourers and even Mohan Bhagwat: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (ANI)

12:15 PM: Delhi: Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad & Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury visit Rashtrapati Bhavan. Gandhi says, “I told the President that these farm laws are anti-farmer. The country has seen that farmers have stood up against these laws”. (ANI)

11:57 AM: It is a sin to use the kind of names they (BJP leaders & supporters) used for farmers. If Govt is calling them anti-nationals, then the govt is a sinner: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi. (ANI)

11:14 AM: Palghar mob lynching case: 24 more people including at least four minors arrested earlier this week, adult accused sent to judicial custody, says Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Maharashtra. (ANI)

10:37 AM: Single day rise of 24,712 COVID-19 cases, 312 fatalities pushes India’s virus caseload to 1,01,23,778, death toll to 1,46,756: Govt. (PTI)

09:32 AM: #Canadian Prime Minister #JustinTrudeau has announced that his government will extend the ban on passenger flights from the #UK until January 6 in the wake of the discovery of two new #coronavirus strains in Britain. (IANS)