Daleep Singh, US Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics, on Thursday said that America doesn’t want to see a “rapid acceleration” in India’s imports from Russia of energy and other commodities prohibited by global sanctions regimes and there will be consequences for nations that attempt to circumvent the embargoes imposed following the invasion of Ukraine.
Lured by steep discounts following Western sanctions on Russian entities, India has bought at least 13 million barrels of Russian crude oil since the country invaded Ukraine in late February.
Singh also cautioned India against expecting Russia to come to the country’s defence if China were to violate the Line of Actual Control (LAC) since Moscow and Beijing are now in a “no limits partnership”.
He noted that “friends don’t set red lines” on its energy imports from Russia.
Singh, however, added that its partners in Europe and Asia had been urged to cut their reliance on “an unreliable energy supplier”.
Singh spoke ahead of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s arrival in the Indian capital for a two-day trip.
Singh said that the US was ready to help India diversify its energy and defence supplies.
“We stand ready to help India diversify its energy resources, much like is the case for defence resources over a period of time. But there is no prohibition at present on energy imports from Russia,” he said.
“What we would not like to see is a rapid acceleration of India’s imports from Russia as it relates to energy or any other exports that are currently being prohibited by us or by other aspects of the international sanctions regime.”
He also said the United States would not like to see its allies helping resurrect the rouble, which nosedived immediately after the war began but has recovered in recent days.
India’s middle-ground position on the war has left to a raft of diplomacy in the past few weeks, with China’s foreign minister visiting for the first time since 2019 and now Lavrov seeking to shore up support.
At the same time, the US and its allies are also stepping up engagement in a bid to influence Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
During Lavrov’s trip, India is also hosting Daleep Singh and UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. Her office said she “will point to the importance of all countries reducing strategic dependency on Russia at this time of heightened global insecurity.”
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