“Unsatisfactory… but not surprising”: the United States on India’s Ukrainian position | Russo-Ukrainian War
A White House official said India’s position at the UN on the war was “unsatisfactory” but also “unsurprising” given its ties to Russia.
A senior White House official said India’s position at the United Nations on the Ukraine crisis was “unsatisfactory” but also “unsurprising” given its historic relationship with Russia.
Mira Rapp-Hooper, director for the Indo-Pacific at the White House National Security Council, told an online forum hosted by the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington that India needed alternatives to maintain close ties with Russia.
“I think we would certainly all recognize and agree that when it comes to votes at the UN, India’s stance on the current crisis has been unsatisfactory to say the least. But that’s not at all surprising either,” she said on Friday.
India has developed close ties with the United States in recent years and is a key part of the Quad grouping aimed at pushing back against China. But it has a long-standing relationship with Moscow, which remains a major supplier of its defense equipment.
India has avoided condemning Russian actions in Ukraine and abstained in UN Security Council votes on the issue.
Rapp-Hooper said India has moved closer to Russia as a cover as its relations with China deteriorate, but it is thinking “long and hard” about its defense dependence on China. of Russia.
“I think our view would be that the way forward involves keeping India close, seriously thinking about how to present options to her, so that she can continue to secure her strategic autonomy,” he said. she declared.
Even before the Ukraine crisis erupted, New Delhi upset Washington DC with its purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system, putting it at risk of US sanctions under a 2017 US law aimed at deterring country to buy Russian military equipment.
Analysts say any sanctions against India could jeopardize US cooperation with New Delhi under the Quad Forum with Japan and Australia aimed at countering China’s growing influence.
Rapp-Hooper said Washington and its allies and partners need to look at their supply chains and think about how they can help countries considering replacing Russian defense systems.
“We have a number of partners who have chosen to keep their tokens with Russia, in terms of defense procurement, partly as a hedge against China, but are now in a position to reconsider the wisdom of those decisions,” she said. noted.
“Not only will they have to make long-term decisions on how to potentially replace Russian systems in the immediate term, but they will also have to be able to obtain supplies and spare parts to be able to maintain their own armies.”
India ‘somewhat shaky’
Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden said only India among the Quad group of countries was “somewhat fragile” in acting against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, as India tries to to balance its ties with Russia and the West.
While the other Quad countries – the United States, Japan and Australia – have sanctioned Russian entities or individuals, India has not imposed sanctions or even condemned Russia, its largest supplier of military equipment.
“In response to his aggression, we presented a united front across NATO and in the Pacific,” Biden said at a business forum on Monday, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The Quad – with the possible exception of India being somewhat shaky on some of them – but Japan have been extremely strong, as have Australia in terms of dealing with Putin’s aggression. “