The United States does not seek to change relations between India and Russia, but only takes advantage of it

WASHINGTON, DC (IANS) – The United States does not seek to change India’s relationship with Russia, but wants it to use its influence with Moscow to spread the word against invading Ukraine “loud and clear” to President Vladimir Putin, State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

“Different countries are going to have their own relationship with the Russian Federation. It is a historical fact; it is a geographical fact. It’s not something we seek to change,” he said on April 1 during his press conference here.

“What we seek to do, whether in the context of India or other partners and allies around the world, is to do everything we can to get the international community to speak in unison, speaking out loud and clear against this unjustified situation, unprovoked and premeditated aggression, calling for an end to violence, using the influence that countries including India have for these purposes.

Responding to a reporter’s question if the United States had any concerns about Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to New Delhi, Price said that some countries “due to their longstanding relationship with the Russian Russia, are going to have in some respects even more weight than the closer countries”. at our will”.

“And that’s very good. We understand that. What we are asking for, what we are asking for, is that all countries use whatever influence they have to ensure that this message gets through to Vladimir Putin loud and clear.

Price dodged the question of whether the ruble-ruble trade deal between India and Russia would undermine sanctions.

“I would refer to our Indian partners when it comes to such a rupee-ruble conversion that might have been discussed,” he said.

The State Department’s response, which must contend with U.S. strategic concerns, particularly with China, was at odds with the narrower outlook of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who said to herself ” deeply disappointed” by the reported rupee. -arrangement of the ruble.

She said: “Now is the time to stand on the right side of history and stand with the United States and dozens of other countries standing up for freedom, democracy and sovereignty with the people of Ukraine. , not to finance, feed and help the president. Putin’s war.

In what is seen as a dig at fellow Quad member India, Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan, who was with Raimondo, said democracies should work together “to keep the evidence-based approach rules that we have had since the Second World War”.

Price was asked if India did not use its leverage, would that have a negative consequence for the Quad, the four-member Indo-Pacific group made up of India, the United States, Japan and Australia.

He said the fundamental Quad principles behind the idea of ​​”a free and open Indo-Pacific” transcend any geographic region and “we have a global interest in a free, open world order in which countries, large and little ones, play”. by the rules”.

“So it’s not in our interest, it’s not in Japan’s interest, it’s not in Australia’s interest, or it’s not in Australia’s interest. India to see glaring examples of countries – whether it’s in Europe, whether it’s in the Indo-Pacific, whether it’s between glaring examples of countries flouting, violating this rules-based international order.