When asked whether Washington and Delhi are fully adapting to Russia’s response, United States President Joe Biden said on Thursday that Washington is still in unresolved “consultations” with India. attack on Ukraine ahead of the anticipated United Nations Security Council vote.
Biden didn’t elaborate, but his succinct response to a question at a briefing where he announced imposing new tough sanctions on Russia over Ukraine highlighted an awkward divide between his administration and India, which has been at the center of efforts to curb China’s growth. strength.
India has developed close relations with Washington in recent years, but has a longstanding close relationship with Moscow. supplier from defense equipment.
A senior US administration official on Friday passed a draft resolution of the 15-member United Nations Security Council, of which India is a member, condemning Russia for invading Ukraine and requiring Moscow’s immediate and unconditional withdrawal. He said the probability of voting is high.
Russia is expected to veto the move, but Washington sees the vote as a chance to isolate Moscow, with at least 13 votes in favour, and Russia’s partner China wants to abstain.
Although Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for an end to violence in Ukraine in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, India has so far refrained from condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Biden said he would become a pariah on the international stage as a result of Putin’s attack on Ukraine and that “any nation that supports Russia’s naked aggression against Ukraine will be tainted by partnerships.” When asked whether India is in full alignment with the US, he said: “We are in consultation with India today. We have not fully resolved this.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Thursday and “emphasized the importance of a strong collective response to denounce Russia’s invasion and call for an immediate withdrawal and ceasefire,” the US State Department said in a statement.
In a tweet, Jaishankar said he discussed the implications of developments in Ukraine with Blinken, without revealing any further details about the meeting.
Jaishankar also said he spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, “underscoring that dialogue and diplomacy are the best way forward.”
Delhi upset Washington with Russia’s purchase of the S-400 air defense system, putting it at risk of US sanctions under a 2017 US law aimed at deterring countries from purchasing Russian military hardware.
In December, Russia and India signed more trade and arms deals, including one that will see India produce more than 600,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit.
While there are calls in Congress to exempt India from sanctions, some analysts say Russia’s actions in Ukraine could bring increased pressure for sanctions from the ruling Russian hawks.
Any sanctions could jeopardize US cooperation with Delhi in the Quadrilateral forum with Japan and Australia aimed at repelling China’s expanding influence.
When asked to elaborate on Biden’s comment, the White House did not immediately respond, and a State Department spokesperson said, “We continue to engage with our Indian counterparts for a collective response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”