India’s relationship with Russia is ‘okay’ says US spokesperson


India’s stance in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war seems to be in the safe zone, as it hasn’t voiced any strong statements against the war. Since India has a strong relationship with Russia, it does not want to spoil the relationship.

A US State Department spokesperson highlighted that, different countries have different levels of relationships and it is ‘okay’ for India to have taken such a decision.

Washington had recently asked every country that has leverage with Moscow to use it to protect rules-based international order.

Ned Price noted that the US shares important interests and values with India, and its ok for India to have relationship with India.

“We share important interests with India. We share important values with India. And we know India has a relationship with Russia that is distinct from the relationship that we have with Russia. Of course, that is okay,” Price told reporters at his daily news conference on Friday.

“India has a relationship with Russia that we certainly don’t have. India and Russia have a relationship, including in the defense and security sector, that we don’t have. … we have asked every country that has a relationship and certainly those countries that have leverage to use that leverage in a constructive way,” he said in response to a question.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in Ukraine on Wednesday night. Russia has launched multiple attacks on several areas in central and eastern Ukraine, drawing widespread condemnation and sanctions from several countries, including the US.

The US, Price said, has a broad strategic partnership with India.

“As you know, we had an opportunity to see our Indian counterpart Foreign Minister Jaishankar in Australia just the other day when we were in the Indo-Pacific for a meeting of the Quad,” he said.

“What we have done, including in the context of the bilateral discussion we had with Foreign Minister Jaishankar in Melbourne, was to share our fervent belief that countries around the world, especially those countries that have a level of influence, of clout, of leverage with the Russian Federation, needed to use that to good effect, needed to use that to protect the rules-based international order,” he said.

Responding to another question, Price said that the US has communicated to Pakistan its position on what was then the threat of a Russian invasion and what is now the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Just as India does, Pakistan knows precisely where we stand on this. These are again rules, norms, guidelines that benefit India, Pakistan, the United States, and Russia as well,” he said.

Putin met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Kremlin on Thursday in his first face-to-face talks since the start of the special Russian military operation in eastern Ukraine and the two leaders discussed the main aspects of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on current regional topics, including developments in South Asia