India

US calls India’s stand on Russia-Ukraine conflict ‘unsatisfactory to say, the least’

Washington, March 27 (KMS): Fed up with India’s unexpected leaning towards Moscow, the United States has eventually described the India’s position at the United Nations over the Russia-Ukraine conflict as “unsatisfactory”.

A senior White House official while commenting on Modi-led regime’s flip-flops, said, “I think we would certainly all acknowledge and agree that when it comes to votes at the UN, India’s position on the current crisis has been unsatisfactory, to say the least.”

Mira Rapp-Hooper, director for the Indo-Pacific on the White House National Security Council, told an online forum hosted by Washington’s School of Advanced International Studies India needed alternatives to continued close ties with Russia.

Rapp-Hooper said India had cleaved closer to Russia as a hedge as its relationship with China worsened, but it was thinking “long and hard” about its defense dependency on Russia.

Even before the Ukraine crisis erupted, Delhi upset Washington with its purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system, putting it at risk of U.S. sanctions under a 2017 U.S. law aimed at deterring countries from buying Russian military hardware.

Analysts say any sanctions against India could jeopardize U.S. cooperation with Delhi in the Quad forum with Japan and Australia aimed at countering China’s expanding influence.

Rapp-Hooper said Washington and its allies and partners needed to look at their supply chains and think about how they can help countries that may be considering how to replace Russian defense systems.

“We have a number of partners that have chosen to keep their chips in with Russia, in terms of their defense procurement, in part as a hedge against China, but who are now in a place of reconsidering the wisdom of those decisions,” she said.

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