Business Standard

Subtle shift in India's position on Ukraine and Russia: US official

"It is a positive thing that Prime Minister Modi has said and repeated that this must be settled through dialogue and diplomacy," he said

PM Modi

PM Modi

Press Trust of India Washington

Listen to This Article

The United States has experienced a subtle shift in India's position on Ukraine and Russia, the Biden Administration said on Wednesday, on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's high-level talks with President Joe Biden at the White House.
Since the Ukraine conflict began in February last year, Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a number of times during which he insisted that the conflict should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy.
"What you have seen in the last several months is a subtle shift in the Indian position on the war in Ukraine that started last summer, almost a year ago in August with Prime Minister Modi saying to President Putin to his face that now is not the era for war, a senior State Department official told reporters.
In September, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said at the UN that the war must be ended through diplomacy and according to the UN Charter and its founding principles. This is a way of saying what the US has always said from the beginning based on territorial integrity and sovereignty, said the official.
And then in October of last year, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the threat to use nuclear weapons is inconsistent with the basic tenets of humanity. "These are pretty strong statements," the official said.
"While in the West, I'm not sure we read it exactly the same way in India, that was seen as a very clear shift. You have seen Prime Minister Modi speaking to President Zelensky at the G-7 summit in Hiroshima and recommitting that this conflict must be settled through diplomacy and dialogue, said the official, who spoke with reporters on conditions of anonymity.
India, the official said, has a long history of relations with Russia. They have interests with Russia that go back many, many decades.
"It is a positive thing that Prime Minister Modi has said and repeated that this must be settled through dialogue and diplomacy. I think you'll see that again honestly, that this is now a very established part of Indian policy. What I think you'll also see is that while the US and India differ about our exact policies on Russia and Ukraine, we share a belief that this must be dealt, this must be settled through diplomacy and this must end in a lasting piece according to the UN charter and its founding principles which are territorial integrity and sovereignty, the official said.
That's a common position of India in the United States, the official added.
Responding to a question, the official said India will make its own decisions about whether it purchases oil from Russia.
"As you know, there are no sanctions on the purchase of Russian oil. There are restrictions by G-7 countries about buying oil at a certain price, the Russia oil price cap. And so we hope that India will continue to use the G-7 oil price cap to leverage lower costs for the Russian oil that it purchases. That's in the interest of all of us that it buys Russian crude at rock bottom prices, said the official.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Jun 22 2023 | 11:26 AM IST

Explore News