On Monday, the White House said Joe Biden, the President of the United States, pushed the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cut oil imports from Russia. He conveyed to Modi that it is not in the Indian interest to increase imports from Russia. Both leaders had their first virtual summit to focus on the Russian-Ukraine war.
Instead, the Russian military is struggling to oppose a strong Ukrainian forces resistance. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the U.S. president made it clear that he doesn’t believe it is in the Indian interest to increase or accelerate imports of Russian oil. According to a clear reference to a Russian-Indian pact for providing S-400 Russian air defense systems to India.
US administration official said that President Joe Biden told Indian leader Narendra Modi during a virtual meeting that purchasing more Russian oil is not in the interest of his country, as the US urged New Delhi to take a strict line against the Russian aggression on Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/5bVRK2qmL3
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According to Psaki, Biden assured Modi during an hour-long video call that the United States is ready to help India diversity its energy sources. However, a United States official described the conversation between both leaders as productive and warm and said that the U.S. president stopped short of making a concrete ask of Prime Minister Modi on Russian energy imports.
Biden began the dialog by stressing the partnership between India and the United States, sayings both countries would continue their close consultation on how to manage the undermining effects of the Russia-Ukraine war. Indian Prime Minister expressed mounting concern about the current Ukraine situation, specifically in Bucha, where the dead bodies of several civilians have been found.
India Remained Neutral in Russia-Ukraine War
Modi said that he had talked with Russian President Vladimir Putin and advised him to hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. India remained neutral in the Russian war in Ukraine, expressing concern from Washington but earning praise from Russia. Last month, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, met Modi in New Delhi, and he said that India had judged the situation not only in a one-sided way.
India renounced slapping sanctions on Moscow and refrained when the United Nations General Assembly voted last week to suspend Russia from its seat on the Human Rights Council. In addition, the Modi government continued to buy Russian energy, despite pressure from the U.S. and other Western nations to refrain. Moscow offered steep discounts on its energy supplies, and Delhi bought at least thirteen million barrels of Moscow crude oil since the aggression of Ukraine, compared with the sixteen million barrels it purchased last year.
Antony Blinken, the United States Secretary of State, told reporters before the meeting of the four officials that the dialogs would span several topics, including Russian aggression in Ukraine, climate issues, the Coronavirus pandemic, and upholding an open, free, secure, democratic, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the Indian Minister of External Affairs, said that their collaboration grew well beyond its bilateral scope and now has an evident impact on international issues.
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