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After holding several meetings with Indian interlocutors, including Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Singh also said that the US would not like to see any country engaging in financial transactions with the Russian central bank. Singh said India’s current import of Russian energy does not violate any US sanctions (against Russia) as the US has exempted energy supplies from Russia, but at the same time Washington calls its allies “untrustworthy”. would also like to see it explore ways to reduce its dependence on the supplier.
The US deputy NSA, who played a key role in drafting US sanctions against Russia, arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday on a two-day visit. His visit comes in the backdrop of growing unease in the West over India’s stand of not criticizing Moscow over Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
“We don’t want to see a system that ignores the dollar-based financial system or a system that stifles our financial sanctions,” he told reporters.
The remarks of the US Deputy National Security Adviser came on a day when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is on his two-day visit to India to discuss the ruble (Russian currency)-rupee for bilateral trade, including buying Russian oil from New Delhi. Discussion can be seen on the payment mechanism.
“We would not like to see a sharp increase in India’s imports from Russia as it would be related to energy or any other exports that the US has banned or other international sanctions,” Singh said.
Singh said this when asked about India’s decision to buy oil from Russia at a concessional rate. He said that the US is ready to help India meet its energy and defense equipment needs.
He said, “Russia has said that China is its most important partner, which has real implications for India.” He said that Russia is going to be a junior partner in this regard with China. Singh said, “The more influence China makes on Russia, the less favorable it will be for India. I don’t think anyone will believe that if China violates the LAC, then Russia will run to protect India.
On the Ukraine crisis, he said that if the Russian aggression is not stopped, it will have disastrous consequences. Referring to cooperation under the ‘Quad’ framework, Singh said the alliance recognizes that China is a strategic threat to a free, open and secure Indo-Pacific.
After the talks between Shringla and Singh, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said that the two sides discussed India-US economic cooperation and strategic partnership.
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(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a press release)