The US State Department on Tuesday (local time) said that the messages passed on to Moscow during External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar’s recent visit to Russia are not dissimilar to what Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said earlier that “this is not an era of war.” Responding to a query on Jaishankar’s visit, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, “The messages we heard from Foreign Minister Jaishankar in Russia were not dissimilar in some ways from what we heard from Prime Minister Modi at the United Nations, when he made it very clear that this is not an era of war.”
“India reaffirms that it stands against this war (Russia-Ukraine war), it wants to see diplomacy, dialogue and an end to this war. It is important that the Russians hear that message from countries like India with economic, diplomatic, social and political might,” added Price.
Responding to India becoming the largest oil customer – Russian oil customer after China and expanding their trade ties and why the US is not able to convince India to stay away from Russia in this difficult hour, he said, “We’ve had a number of high-level engagements with our Indian counterparts in recent weeks and recent months. Just yesterday Deputy Secretary Sherman met with Indian Foreign Secretary Kwatra and had a wide-ranging discussion about the US-India relationship. Secretary Blinken met with Foreign Minister Jaishankar here in this building just a couple of months ago. And there have been a number of conversations in between.” The US has consistently made the point that it is a relationship (India and Russia), that developed and was cemented over the course of decades.
“When it comes to India’s relationship with Russia, we’ve consistently made the point that it’s a relationship that developed and was cemented over the course of decades, really came to be during the Cold War at a time when the United States was not in a position to be an economic partner, a security partner, a military partner to India.” However, Price said that US and India’s relations have changed in the past 25 years.
“That has changed. That’s changed over the past 25 or so years. It’s really a legacy – a bipartisan legacy – that this country has achieved over the course of the past quarter century. President George W. Bush’s administration was really the first to put this into effect,” said Price.
“We have sought to deepen our partnership with India in every sector, including when it comes to economics, including when it comes to our security ties, including when it comes to our military cooperation as well,” he added.
Talking about the US transition in the relationship with India, he said, “Now, this is a transition that we’ve always been clear-eyed will not take place overnight, over the course even a few months or probably even over the course of a couple of years. India is a large country, a vast country, with a large economy that has demanding needs. And so the transition and the reorientation that we hope to see from India is something that this administration will be committed to working with India on. But this will likely be a task for this administration and administrations to come.”