US ‘agrees’ with India’s ‘separate’ relationship with Russia; suggests using his influence to influence Moscow

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New York: The United States said it “agreed” with India’s “separate” relationship with Russia and suggested it use its “influence” with Moscow to protect an international order based on human rights. rules.

Speaking to reporters in Washington ahead of the Security Council meeting in New York on Friday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said India and Russia share a relationship and Washington has asked all countries with power to use it to enforce international standards.

India abstained on a Security Council resolution proposed by the United States and its allies condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

When asked if the aftermath of the Russian invasion had strained Indo-US relations, Price took a conciliatory approach in contrast to Security Council rhetoric that came later in the day, saying the separate relationship from New Delhi with Moscow was “ok”.

He said: “We share important interests with India, we share important values ​​with India”, and added: “We know that India has a relationship with Russia which is distinct from the relationship that we have with Russia. Of course, that’s fine.

While “we have a broad strategic partnership with India”, he noted that India’s relationship with Russia is in “the defense and security sector”.

“What we have asked of all countries in the world is that they use this leverage wisely to enforce these standards, these rules that have been at the center, again, at unprecedented levels. over the past 70 years of security, stability and stability. prosperity,” he said.

The Security Council is due to meet on Sunday to consider a resolution by the United States and its allies calling for an emergency session of the General Assembly to address the Ukraine crisis.

When a vote on it takes place, attention will focus on India, which abstained in a procedural vote on the Ukraine issue last month and Friday on the resolution condemning Russia.

Washington had placed great importance on the resolution on Russia and wanted to present an image of global solidarity against Moscow.

While all three Asian countries on the Security Council – India, China and the United Arab Emirates – abstained, the resolution received 11 votes but was overruled by the veto of permanent member Russia.

US Permanent Representative Linda Thomas-Greenfield made voting a cornerstone of the country rankings.

“There is no middle ground,” said before the vote.

After the vote, she criticized India, saying without naming her or the other two countries: “This vote has shown which countries really believe in supporting the fundamental principles of the UN and which have deployed them as practical slogans. This vote showed which members of the Security Council support the Charter of the United Nations and which do not.

Russia and the United States had pressured India to take their respective sides.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday and Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

“India has a relationship with Russia that we certainly don’t have. India and Russia have a relationship, including in the defense and security sector, which we do not have. And again, we’ve asked every country that has a relationship, and certainly countries that have leverage, to use that leverage constructively,” Price said.

While India has always had close ties to Moscow and benefited from the Soviet veto during the Bangladesh War of Independence, India grew closer to the United States and the West in the post-war period. cold.

An important element of ties with the United States is India’s membership of the Quad, a group that includes the United States, Japan and Australia who face a common challenge from China.

Jaishankar attended the Quad foreign ministers meeting in Melbourne earlier this month and also held bilateral talks with Blinken.

Price said that during the bilateral meeting, Blinken shared “our fervent belief that countries around the world, especially countries that have a level of influence, influence, influence with the Russian Federation had to use it wisely, had to use it to protect the rules-based international order.

The rules-based international order, the fundamental elements of which are respect for the sovereignty of nations and the non-use of aggression “has worked for the benefit of the United States, which has worked for the benefit of our European allies, who have worked for the benefit of India and, quite frankly, have worked for the benefit of the Russian Federation for some 70 years,” Price said.

When asked if Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Moscow on the day Russia launched the invasion signaled a “realignment of forces”, Price said, “We have communicated to Pakistan our position on what was then the threat of a Russian invasion and what is now the ongoing Russian invasion against Ukraine.

“Like India, Pakistan knows precisely where we stand. These are, again, rules, standards, guidelines that also benefit India, Pakistan, the United States and Russia,” he added.

(IANS)

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