New Delhi: Unhappy with India’s continuing relationship with Russia despite efforts to wean it away, the US has warned that with Russia and China getting closer together there are doubts if Moscow will come to help New Delhi if Chinese soldiers breach the LAC again.
The US Deputy NSA Daleep Singh, speaking to some Indian journalists and to TV channels, also said the US does not want to see an uptick in Indian imports from Russia, especially energy imports – in the wake of India set to import large quantities of Russian crude against a rupee-ruble payment.
“What we would not like to see is a rapid acceleration of India’s imports from Russia as it relates to energy or any other exports that are currently being prohibited by us or by other aspects of the international sanctions regime,” Singh is quoted as saying.
“China and Russia have declared a no-limits partnership, the more Russia becomes China’s partner, the less favourable it is for India, and if China breaches the LAC, do you think Russia will come to India’s help?” he asked.
“So we have to be upfront with India about that and be a partner,” he added.
“The truth is core principles are at stake (over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine), core principles that underpin peace and security all over the world….Putin’s actions are an egregious violation of international law,” he told CNN-News18 channel.
“And as I mention core principles, you cannot redraw borders by force, you cannot subjugate the will of the free people, countries have the right to set their own course, and choose their own destiny. India doesn’t need me or anybody else to say why those principles are sacred. And that’s why we are imposing these costs on Russia,” he said.
“It is time for democracies to step up, we are consulting intensely with all our democratic partners, and that’s why I’m here,” said Singh, who is said to be the architect of the Biden administration’s sanctions against Russia.
His remarks come as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives in India on a two-day visit. Singh held talks with Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Thursday on advancing bilateral economic relations and the strategic partnership.