Russia’s foreign minister discussed the situation in the contentious Jammu and Kashmir region in a phone conversation with his Pakistani counterpart, Russia said on Wednesday.
Tensions between Pakistan and India flared up following New Delhi’s unprecedented move on Aug. 5 to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, which had allowed its assembly to enact laws and prevented outsiders from settling in or owning land in the territory.
Russia’s Sergey Lavrov and Pakistan’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi discussed the rising tensions following New Delhi’s decision to change the region’s legal status, said a Russian Foreign Ministry statement.
“The Russian side stressed the need to de-escalate tensions and the lack of alternatives to the settlement of existing differences between Pakistan and India on a basis of political and diplomatic means. Russian representatives in the UN consistently stick to this position,” the statement said.
Since India’s move, Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic relations with India, suspended trade, and expelled the Indian envoy.
The Himalayan region is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971 — two of them over Kashmir.
According to several human rights groups, thousands of people have been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.