Washington [US], June 22 (ANI): India is a very key strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific region and the US lets Indian leaders speak about their economic policies, said US National Security Council coordinator John Kirby on Tuesday amid reports of a spike in Indian energy import from Russia.
Addressing a press briefing on Tuesday, Kirby said the US value this bilateral relationship with India but Washington wants international pressure on Russia amid the Ukraine conflict.
"India is also a very key strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific region. And there are many ways that partnership represents itself both in defence and security, economic as well. I think we'll let Indian leaders speak about their economic policies," he said.
"What I can just tell you is we value this bilateral relationship with India and we continue to want obviously every country has to make those decisions for themselves. These are sovereign decisions but we want as much pressure put internationally on Russia as possible," he added.
India in recent weeks has spiked energy imports from Russian despite global sanctions on Moscow. US officials conveyed the message to India there is no ban on energy imports from Russia but they do not want to see a rapid acceleration.
A number of institutionalized mechanisms have been set up for the development of economic cooperation between the India-Russia. But the Ukraine war and subsequent sanctions placed by the Western countries have proved to be a hurdle in trade.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar earlier this month hit back at the unfair criticism of Indian oil purchase from Russia amid the Ukraine war that has created a knock-off effect on the world economy.
While defending India's oil imports from Russia, Jaishankar stressed that it is important to understand how the Ukraine conflict is impacting the developing countries. He also questioned why only India was being questioned while Europe continues to import gas from Russia amid the Ukraine war.
Responding to a question on whether India's oil import from Russia is not funding the ongoing Ukraine war, Jaishankar said, "Look I don't want to sound argumentative. If India funding Russia oil is funding the war... Tell me then buying Russian gas is not funding the war? It's only Indian money and Russian oil coming to India funding the war and not Russia's gas coming to Europe not funding? Let's be a little even-handed."
At the GLOBSEC 2022 Bratislava Forum in Slovakia, Jaishankar said, the packages of sanctions imposed by the European Union are imposed keeping in mind the interest of certain European nations.
"...if you can be considerate to yourself, you can be considerate to other people. If a Europe says, if we have to manage it in a way impact on the economy is not traumatic, that freedom should exist for other people as well," he said.
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