| 28 May 2024, Tuesday |

Biden says India ‘somewhat shaky’ on Russia over Ukraine

As India attempts to balance its connections with Russia and the West, US President Joe Biden remarked that only India among the Quad group of countries was “slightly unsteady” in acting against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

While the other members of the Quad – the United States, Japan, and Australia – have imposed sanctions or even criticized Russian businesses or individuals, India has not. Russia is India’s largest supplier of military hardware.

“We have presented a united face throughout NATO and in the Pacific in reaction to his aggressiveness,” Biden said at a business gathering on Monday, alluding to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The Quad – with the probable exception of India, which has been shaky on some of them – but Japan and Australia have been extraordinarily firm in dealing with Putin’s aggression.”

Putin claims that Russia is conducting “a special military operation” to prevent the Ukrainian government from committing “genocide,” which the West dismisses as a fiction.

India’s foreign ministry said Australia understood India’s position on Ukraine, which “reflected our own situation, our own considerations,” following a virtual summit between Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, on Monday.

India has called for an end to the violence in Ukraine but has refused to vote against Russia, its old Cold War partner.

Even while India has grown closer to the US in recent years, it still relies on Russia for a steady supply of guns and ammunition in the face of a Himalayan border impasse with China and ongoing tensions with Pakistan.

With two Indian state businesses just ordering five million barrels of Russian oil at a discount, India is considering buying more Russian oil at a discount.

European countries are buying gas from Russia, according to Indian analysts and government officials.

  • Reuters