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After PM Modi's Russia visit, US says India remains a strategic partner

US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said that the US has been quite clear about its concerns about India's relationship with Russia and will continue conveying them to New Delhi

Modi, Narendra Modi, Putin, Russian President, Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (Photo: PTI)

Bhaswar Kumar Delhi
The United States (US) has said it will continue to regard India as a strategic partner and have a robust dialogue with New Delhi despite having concerns over its ties with Russia, adding that it trusts that New Delhi will convey to Russian President Vladimir Putin the importance of adhering to the UN charter and the principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty regarding Ukraine.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recently concluded two-day Russia visit for the 22nd India-Russia annual summit was closely watched by the West amid the ongoing Ukraine conflict.

During his talks with Putin on Tuesday, PM Modi told the Russian President that a solution to the Ukraine conflict was not possible on the battlefield and that peace efforts would not succeed amid bombs and bullets.

How has the US reacted to PM Modi's Russia visit?

On Tuesday in Washington, US State Department and Pentagon spokespersons reacted separately to questions on PM Modi's visit to Moscow and India's relationship with Russia.

"India and Russia have had a relationship for a very long time. From a US perspective, India is a strategic partner with whom we continue to engage in full and frank dialogue to include their relationship with Russia," Pentagon Press Secretary Major General Pat Ryder told reporters at a news conference. "As it relates to the NATO summit being this week, of course, like you, the world is focused on that," he added.

When a reporter said that Putin was not looking so isolated with the head of the world's largest democracy being in Moscow, Ryder responded by saying that PM Modi also met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently and offered his assurances that India would continue to do everything within its means to support a peaceful solution to the war in Ukraine.

"I think that we trust that India will support efforts to realise an enduring and just peace for Ukraine and will convey to Mr Putin the importance of adhering to the UN charter and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity," Ryder added.

While Ryder said that Putin would try to represent PM Modi's visit as a sign that the Russian President is not isolated from the rest of the world, he added that "the fact of the matter is President Putin's war of choice has isolated Russia from the rest of the world, and it has come at great cost".

Stating that the US "will continue to view India as a strategic partner", Ryder added, "We will continue to have a robust dialogue with them."

Speaking to reporters at his daily news conference, US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said that the US has been quite clear about its "concerns about India's relationship with Russia".

"We have expressed those privately (and) directly to the Indian government, and continue to do so. And that has not changed," said Miller.

Stating that the US continues to "urge India to support efforts to realise an enduring and just peace in Ukraine, based on the principles of the UN charter based on upholding Ukraine's territorial integrity and its sovereignty", Miller added, "And that will continue to be what we will engage with India about".

What's India's stand on the Ukraine conflict? 

PM Modi's visit to Russia marked a pivotal moment as he held a significant bilateral meeting with President Putin on Tuesday, their first in two years. This was also their first such meeting since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Addressing the invasion, PM Modi expressed his heartfelt concern, stating, "If innocent children are murdered; if innocent children die, it is heart-wrenching." His remarks came a day after a children's hospital in Kyiv was struck amid a wave of Russian attacks.

PM Modi also conveyed the Global South's desire for peace and stability to Putin, reiterating that "no solution is possible on the battlefield". He also emphasised the same sentiment during their private dinner the previous evening.

India has defended its "special and privileged strategic partnership" with Russia, while maintaining the momentum in bilateral ties despite the Ukraine conflict.

While India has not yet condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, New Delhi has consistently pitched for a resolution to the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.

(With inputs from PTI)

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First Published: Jul 10 2024 | 2:59 PM IST

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