US President Joe Biden with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a virtual exchange at the White House (AFP / MANDEL NGAN) on April 11, 2022
Joe Biden and Narendra Modi made a “transparent” virtual exchange on Monday, but it did not appear to have compromised positions on the war in Ukraine, which could destabilize relations between India and the United States.
US diplomat Anthony Blingen told reporters after the summit via video conference, “It is important that all nations, especially those with influence,” persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war. This was followed by a meeting with the Prime Minister of India and the Ministers of Defense of the two countries in Washington.
“It is important that democracies (…) speak with one voice to protect the values we share,” he added.
The Biden administration, which has made India a pillar of US alliances in the Asia-Pacific region against China, has been embarrassed by New Delhi’s stance since the start of the war in Ukraine.
Despite Narendra Modi’s government openly condemning the Russian invasion, the UN
During his exchange with Joe Biden, the Indian Prime Minister described the situation in Ukraine as “extremely worrying” and recalled Washington’s skeptical support for his role in the Russian-Ukrainian talks.
Pressured by questions about this lack of confidence, Indian diplomat S.K. Jaisankar did not hide the hint of irritation. “Thanks for your advice and suggestions, but I want to do it my way,” he told a news conference during a press conference with Anthony Blingen.
Moreover, according to the White House, the US president has warned that accelerating Russian energy imports would not be “in India’s interest” – which would offset some of the Western procurement cuts – the Indian minister said equally harshly. . “Our purchases in a month may be less in the afternoon than in Europe,” he replied.
The nearly hour-long conversation between Joe Biden and Narendra Modi was “hot” but, above all, “transparent”, according to a senior White House official, who again used some tense translation in diplomatic language.
– Partner “important” –
Failing to defeat this key ally for that reason, Washington seems to be increasing the pledge of friendship to prevent it from gradually slipping into the Russian camp.
At the beginning of the virtual meeting, Joe Biden praised the “deep ties” between the two countries, and in the face of a big screen where Narendra Modi appeared, expressed his desire to “continue” close consultations on Ukraine.
“This is an important moment in world affairs, so I think this partnership is even more important and essential,” he added.
The United States, knowing that India has relied on Russia for military equipment in the context of close ties inherited from the Cold War, knows that it cannot rush it publicly.
Therefore, the US government, which insisted at the outset of the war that any country should take a clear stand, pretended to understand India’s warning, even as it raised its voice more clearly against China.
“India needs to make its own decisions to meet this challenge,” said Anthony Blingen. On the contrary, he acknowledged that they were “condemning the killing of civilians in Ukraine” while “providing significant humanitarian assistance.”
Similarly, he reiterated that while Indo-Russian relations were much older than those between Washington and New Delhi, the latter was now growing exponentially.
In the aftermath of the war, US and Indian leaders have stressed their common will in the world economy and other common forums, especially by signing the space cooperation agreement.
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