After Biden's 'shaky' remark, US says 'partner of choice' despite India's stand on Russia

By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh
Mar 23, 2022 05:53 AM IST

US state department spokesperson Ned Price said notwithstanding India's historic relationship with Russia, which came together at a time when the US was not prepared to have such kind of a relationship with India, now the US is a partner of India. 

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Wednesday India is an essential partner of the United States as both the countries share the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific. New Delhi's stand on Russia because of their historic defence relationship does not come in the way as the US is a partner of choice for India. The comment follows US president Joe Biden's recent remark that only the response of India, among the Quad countries, has been "somewhat shaky" against Russia.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price commented on India's stand on Russia and its impact. 
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price commented on India's stand on Russia and its impact. 

On being asked how Quad partners are seeing India's stand on Russia, Price said, "It's a question of history versus where we are now... India has, of course, had a historic defence and security relationship with Russia over time. That relationship came of age and came together at a time when theUS or some of our partners weren't prepared to have that kind of relationship with India. That was a very different time, different considerations. But those times have changed in terms of our willingness and ability to become a strong defence partner of India. This is a bilateral relationship that has deepened over the past 25 years or so."

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"So the fact is that we are a partner of India now. Historical relationships notwithstanding, we are a partner of choice for India now, as are many of our partners and allies around the World," Price said.

Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell recently said the partner countries of Quad-- US, Australia and Japan -- understand and accept India's stand on Russia and it is not going to affect the cooperation among the Quad countries. " We understand that each country has a bilateral relationship and it is clear from the comments of the MEA (ministry of external affairs) and Prime Minister Modi himself that he has used his contacts to call for the end of the conflict and no country will be unhappy with that," he said.

Victoria Nuland, a US Under Secretary of State who met India's foreign secretary on Monday, has said the United States had not asked partners like India to suddenly stop energy purchases from Russia. "We have made clear in our conversation that we understand that's not something that you can cut off immediately, in the same way that we've been clear with our European allies who are still too dependent on Russian energy that we understand that they will have to evolve away from it as well," she said in an interview.

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