Biden pressures India to forge ties with Russia

Dthe war in Ukraine has made India a problem for the American government. When President Joe Biden said that Russia had isolated itself through the world’s wars of aggression, it was not among the most populous democracies. A videoconference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a meeting of foreign and defense ministers on Monday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs served as another effort to build bridges for the Indian government. In late March, Daleep Singh, Deputy National Security Adviser at the White House, appeared in Delhi – shortly before Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in the Indian capital.

Majid Sattar

Political correspondent for North America based in Washington.

As expected, Antony Blinken appealed to the guests that democracy must stand together and speak with one voice. It was important, said the foreign minister, that all countries, “especially those with influence”, put pressure on Moscow to end the war. When his Indian colleague Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was later asked about Russia’s offer to buy additional oil and gas at lower prices, he replied: If he looks at the numbers, India’s energy imports from Russia in a month are smaller than what European Shops expect in the afternoon. .

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White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who said a few weeks ago that India had to think about which side it wanted to be on if this moment were to go down in history, has now acknowledged that India produces only 1-2 percent of Russia’s energy needs and imports. not violate the sanctions regime. However, he added, Biden had made it clear that he wanted to help India diversify its energy imports. He also stressed that he did not think it was in India’s interest to increase imports.

Dhali maintains close ties with Moscow

Another, more complicated question: Washington, says Blinken, continues to insist that other countries not buy weapons from Russia. However, no decision has yet been made whether Delhi’s acquisition of the S-400 Triumf missile system will be exempt from sanctions. Biden highlighted Washington’s growing defense cooperation with Delhi – and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stressed that the two sides had discussed possible cooperation in cyberspace and outer space.

Delhi has maintained close ties with Moscow since the Cold War – including from a military point of view. India has so far relied on arms supplies from Russia. While it used to be primarily about arch-enemy Pakistan, America’s ally in the Cold War, today the focus is at least as much on its rival, China. India wants to prevent Moscow from moving closer to Beijing. This is one of the reasons why it has repeatedly abstained at the United Nations in New York when it comes to condemning the Russian war. So Austin, seeing military cooperation, said he was pleased that the two sides had opened up new opportunities for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. However, China is trying to reshape the region and the international order according to its own interests. Washington has done a lot of work to build and strategically integrate India in Asia as a counterweight to China. Last but not least, a quad alliance was formed from Washington, Delhi, Tokyo and Canberra.

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