‘Somewhat shaky’: Joe Biden’s assessment of Indian response to Ukraine invasion
Members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad were extremely strong in responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine while India’s position on the issue was “somewhat shaky”, US President Joe Biden has said.
Biden’s remarks, made while addressing a business roundtable on Monday, were the first comments by a senior US leader regarding India’s position on the situation in Ukraine. India has so far refrained from criticising Russia’s actions and called for an immediate end to hostilities and a return to the path of dialogue.
The US president, while summing up the response of NATO and Quad to the Ukraine crisis, said: “The Quad is — with the possible exception of India being somewhat shaky on some of this. But Japan has been extremely strong, so has Australia, in terms of dealing with Putin’s aggression.”
Biden added, “We presented a united front throughout NATO and the Pacific.”
Both Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison raised the Ukraine crisis during their summits with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A Japanese spokesperson said Kishida sought greater cooperation from Narendra Modi to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the hostilities. Morrison said steps must be taken to ensure that the aggression in Europe is not repeated in the Indo-Pacific.
There was no immediate response from Indian officials to Biden’s comments.
Biden further said that when Putin began amassing troops along the Ukrainian border, he called for an emergency meeting of NATO in Europe “to make the case that we had to be united”.
He said he was confident that Putin “was counting on being able to split NATO”, and the Russian leader “never thought NATO would stay resolved” and totally united.
“And I can assure you: NATO has never been stronger or more united in its entire history than it is today, in large part because of Vladimir Putin,” Biden said.
In response to Putin’s aggression, the US and its allies had presented a “united front throughout NATO and in the Pacific”, he said.
American businesses did a “hell of a lot to help us impose sanctions and incur costs” on the Russian economy. “And we’re seeing now that it mattered. It was really important what you all did,” he added.
The response of the US and its allies is working and the Ukrainians are fighting valiantly, Biden said. The Ukrainian side has the required equipment and “they’re wreaking havoc” on the Russian military, he said.