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Not seeking to change India-Russia ties: US on Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov's New Delhi visit

By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh
Apr 01, 2022 05:47 AM IST

Russia-Ukraine war: Countries closer to Russia will have more leverage than countries closer to the US, the states department said adding that US wants to use that leverage to ensure that the international community is speaking in union against Russia's aggression.

The United States on Thursday said every country has its own relationship with the Russian Federation and the US is not seeking any change in that, state department spokesman Ned Price said on Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov's visit to New Delhi amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

US state department spokesperson Ned Price did not give a direct reply to a question on Rupee-Ruble trade between India and Russia.
US state department spokesperson Ned Price did not give a direct reply to a question on Rupee-Ruble trade between India and Russia.

“Different countries are going to have their own relationship with the Russian Federation. It's a fact of history. It's a fact of geography. That is not something that we are seeking to change. What we are seeking to do, whether it is in the context of India or other partners and allies around the world, is to do all we can to see to it that the international community is speaking in unison,” Ned Price said.

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“Speaking loudly against this unjustified, unprovoked, premeditated aggression, calling for an end to the violence, using the leverage that countries, including India, have to those ends. There are countries that by dint of their long-standing relationships with the Russian Federation are going to have in some ways even more leverage than countries closer to us will,” he said.

Jaishankar’s sharp comeback to India’s critics on buying cheaper Russian oil

On being asked about India working out any rupee-rouble conversion for trade, the state department spokesperson said, "I would refer to our Indian partners when it comes to any such rupee-ruble conversion that may have been discussed. When it comes to the Quad, one of the core principles of the Quad is the idea of a free and open Indo-Pacific. That is specific in that context to the Indo-Pacific. But these are principles, these are ideals that transcend any geographic region."

“And part of the reason why these four countries came together is we have a global interest in a world order that is free, that is open, in which countries large and small play by the rules. So it is not in our interest. It is not in Japan's interest. It is not in Australia's interests or it is not in India's interest to see flagrant examples of countries, whether in Europe, whether in the Indo-Pacific, whether anywhere in between, flagrant examples of countries flouting, violating that rules-based international order,” Price said.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in India on Thursday on a two-day visit. He will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister S Jaishankar on Friday.

India's position on Russia amid the war has been a subject of global scrutiny and discussion as India has not condemned Russian aggression but called for a ceasefire. US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo has criticised the Russian foreign minister's visit to New Delhi and said it is 'deeply disappointing. The US has also warned India against increasing its oil imports saying that it could expose New Delhi to a great risk.

(With agency inputs)

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