US would prefer if India moves away from NAM, Russia: Top diplomat

Published on Apr 09, 2022 10:08 AM IST
Wendy Sherman said India has made comments on Bucha killing which indicates that the US needs to keep working and helping to support India to understand what is in their national security interest.
New Delhi is believed to have told Washington that the alternative to Russian weapons is costlier.
New Delhi is believed to have told Washington that the alternative to Russian weapons is costlier.
By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman said Washington will, obviously, prefer that India moves away from its long-term history of non-alignment G77 partnership with Russia. The diplomat said this in response to a question from Congressman Tim Burchett during a Congressional hearing early this week.

Burchett asked about US policy towards India amid the Russia-Ukraine war as India is continuing its trade with Russia and whether that would impact US-India relationship. “I'm wondering, will India's neutrality in Russia's war on Ukraine and the country's general friendship with Russia have any effect on our policy towards India? US policy towards India, I guess I should say,” Burchett asked.

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To this, Sherman said America’s relationship with India is a very critical one and there is a great opportunity for defence trade with India. “They are the largest democracy in the world. We have a strong defence relationship with them. They are part of the Quad, with Australia and Japan, and we are moving forward on many achievements that are critical to Indo-Pacific prosperity and security,” she said.

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“We, obviously, would prefer that India move away from their long-term history of non-alignment G77 partnership with Russia,” Sherman added.

The diplomat said the US, through its various channels, has conveyed to New Delhi that it will be very hard for them to get spare parts of to get them replaced from Russia because of the sanctions. “They have increased their defence relationship with us, and defence sales, and co-production efforts. And I think this is a great opportunity for that to surge in the years ahead,” she said.

“We have had very direct conversations with them about how we can address their very legitimate needs for their country,” Sherman said adding that progress on this front is being made.

“I think that there's progress being made to see what we can do to be supportive to them, while, at the same time, urging them to be more forthright regarding what's happening in Ukraine,” Sherman said.

“I did note that they made comments, not surprising, about the horrors that have taken place in Bucha. And so, I think we just have to keep working at this relationship and understanding the complexity of it, and helping to support India to really understand what is in their national security interests,” said the top American diplomat.

Amid hectic parleys between India and US officials over India's position on Russia, New Delhi is believed to have told Washington that the alternative to Russian weapons is costlier. Russian companies are also keen on joint ventures with Indian counterparts, something which US companies are not much eager, it also said.

(With agency inputs)

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