US Dy NSA evokes the “consequences” of the war in India | Latest India News

New Delhi: The United States does not want to see a “rapid acceleration” of India’s imports from Russia of energy and other products banned by global sanctions regimes, and there will be consequences for countries that try circumvent embargoes, said US Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh. said Thursday.

Singh, seen as the architect of US sanctions targeting President Vladimir Putin, his inner circle and the Russian financial system, also warned India against expecting Russia to come to the country’s defense if China were to breach the Line of Actual Control (LAC) from Moscow. and Beijing are now in a “limitless partnership”.

In an interaction with a small group of reporters in the midst of his engagements with Indian interlocutors, Singh was unusually blunt in his remarks about the consequences for any country trying to counterbalance sanctions imposed on Russia for the “unnecessary war of Putin” against Ukraine. However, he noted that friends such as the United States and India do not draw “red lines” and that his discussions in New Delhi amounted to an “honest dialogue” on protecting the fundamental principles that underpin global peace and security.

He added that the United States was ready to help India diversify both energy supplies and military hardware, but acknowledged that this process would take time. “The conversation I’ve had here is that we’re ready to help India diversify its energy resources just like it does with defense resources over a period of time,” he said. .

There was no immediate response from Indian officials to Singh’s remarks. US officials have recognized India’s position as a key partner in the Indo-Pacific as well as its dependence on Russia for defense materials. However, there has been growing pressure on India to change its stance on the Ukraine crisis.

“What we would not like to see is a rapid acceleration of India’s imports from Russia for energy or any other exports currently prohibited by the United States or other aspects of the international sanctions regime,” Singh said Thursday in response to a question about India’s recent decision to accept Russia’s offer of cut-price crude oil.

While noting that US financial sanctions exempt energy payments and that there is currently no ban on energy imports from Russia, Singh said the United States and its European allies had a common interest in reducing their dependence on an “unreliable energy supplier” like Russia.

“I come here in the spirit of friendship to explain the mechanics of our sanctions, the importance of joining us in expressing common will and advancing common interests. And yes, there are consequences for countries that actively try to circumvent or counterbalance these sanctions,” he said, while acknowledging that India and Russia are working to find a payment solution that is a workaround to the sanctions.

“We are very keen that all countries, especially our allies and partners, do not create mechanisms that support the ruble and attempt to undermine the dollar-based financial system,” he added.

Singh declined to go into specifics about the consequences, saying they were part of “private discussions which I will not share publicly.”

Responding to a question from HT on US President Joe Biden’s remarks about India’s position within the Quad being “somewhat fragile” over the Ukraine crisis and whether such differences could affect the Quad, Singh said there was a shared recognition in the Quad that “China is a strategic threat to a free, open and secure Indo-Pacific”.

“If you compare this to the reality that China and Russia have now declared a partnership without limits, and Russia has declared China to be its most important strategic partner, by extension, this has real implications for the India,” he said.

“No one should kid themselves – Russia is going to be the junior partner in this relationship with China. And the more influence China gains over Russia, the less favorable it is for India. I don’t think anyone would believe that if China again violated the line of [Actual] Control, that Russia would rush to the defense of India,” he added.

Since arriving in New Delhi on Wednesday, Singh has met with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, National Security Council and Foreign Ministry. There were no official records of these meetings.

India and the United States are also expected to hold the much-delayed 2+2 dialogue of their defense and foreign ministers in the United States in mid-April.

India has so far refrained from publicly censuring Russia for invading Ukraine and has also abstained in all Ukraine-related votes in UN bodies – measures related to New Delhi’s longstanding strategic and defense partnership with Moscow. India, however, called for respect for the UN Charter and for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged an end to hostilities and a return to dialogue in his conversations with Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Singh was the latest in a long line of Western leaders and officials to travel to New Delhi to urge the Indian government to change its stance on the Ukraine crisis and pressure Russia to end the war. . He arrived in the Indian capital a day before Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who will meet with Foreign Minister S Jaishankar on Friday.

Singh accused Putin of violating all the fundamental principles that underpin global peace and security – “the principle that you cannot redraw borders by force, the principle that you cannot subjugate the will of the people free, that countries have the right to set their own course” – and this may be a signal to “autocrats around the world who might wish to exercise their own sphere of influence, bully their neighbors, perhaps right on the doorstep from India “.

The United States wants to broaden the coalition against Russia because “when democracies do not stand up in solidarity and defend these principles together, the costs and risks for all of us become that much greater”, he said. he declares.

US sanctions operate on five distinct channels – imposing “immediate and acute costs through a financial shock on Russia’s biggest banks”, cutting off the technologies needed by Putin to modernize the military and diversify the economy, “methodically ejecting Russia from the international world order”. by revoking most favored nation status and denying IMF and World Bank borrowing privileges, “exposing and holding accountable Russian kleptocracy” and “degrading Russia’s status as a as the main energy supplier.

Singh said: “The intention of these sanctions is to change Putin’s strategic calculus, to show unequivocally that if he continues to wage this unnecessary, illegal and unprovoked war of aggression, it will be a strategic failure.” He accused Russia, one of the biggest energy suppliers, of periodically arming supplies.

Certain sanctions closing Russia’s access to advanced technologies will also affect its ability to export advanced military equipment. “This poses a significant risk to India in terms of the will to defend itself. And so our message is that we are ready to help, to help India as a reliable supplier, if it wishes to diversify away from Russian military equipment over time, recognizing that this is going to be a long process,” he said.

Sameer Patil, a senior fellow at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), said the United States was clearly annoyed by India’s “neutral” stance on the Ukraine conflict. “Among major US allies, only India has so far refrained from taking a critical stance towards Russia and this has not been welcomed by the US. Even if the United States can be reconciled to India’s neutral stance and likely understands India’s constraints, Washington is unlikely to view New Delhi’s actions such as the purchase with the same lens of understanding. of Russian oil,” he said.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rezaul H Laskar is Foreign Affairs Editor at the Hindustan Times. His interests include cinema and music.
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