Approaching US excluded
India insists on importing Russian oil
US President Biden sought to convince his Indian counterpart, Modi, at the meeting to take a tougher political and economic stance against the Kremlin. However, he defended Russia’s energy supply to India, referring to Europe.
The United States and India failed to reach an agreement on relations with Russia over the Ukraine war at top-level meetings. “It is important that all countries, especially those with influence” on Russian President Vladimir Putin, “urge him to end the war,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said after US President Joe Biden’s virtual summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Unlike Biden, Modi does not completely condemn Russia’s invasion of a neighboring country; The Indian prime minister described the situation in Ukraine as “very worrying”. He expressed his support for the Russia-Ukraine negotiations, which Washington, in turn, viewed with skepticism.
According to the White House, while the US President warned during an “open” debate that it was not in “India’s interest” to expand Russia’s energy imports, Indian Foreign Minister S. Jankhaiharan rejected the demands. “Our buying in a month is probably less than Europe in the afternoon,” he said.
India has had close ties to Moscow since Soviet times and relies on Russia for arms. At the same time, Washington hopes to win over India as an ally in a conflict with arch-foe China. Thus, US criticism of India’s position in the Ukraine war has been muted compared to criticism of Beijing’s position. Blinken simply stressed that “democracies” around the world must speak with “one voice” “to defend the values we share”. At the same time, India must “make its own decisions in the face of these challenges”.
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