The United States has urged India not to warm up to Russia ahead of a visit by Moscow’s top diplomat, who would press New Delhi to oppose Western pressure to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
India has voted against UN resolutions condemning Moscow and continues to buy Russian oil from its “longstanding and time-tested ally” and largest arms supplier.
However, Delhi shares Western concerns about Beijing’s aggression in the Asia-Pacific area, as seen by the deaths of 20 Indian and four Chinese troops in a clash on their disputed Himalayan border in 2020.
In a visit to Delhi, Daleep Singh, Washington’s senior sanctions strategist, was cited by local media as stating that if there was another clash, India could not rely on Russia.
“In this partnership with China, Russia will be the subordinate partner. And the more influence China has over Russia, the less favourable the situation becomes for India “On Thursday, Singh was reported as saying.
“I don’t think anyone believes that if China breaches the Line of (Actual) Control again, Russia would rush to India’s help,” he added, referring to the India-China border.
Faced with huge Western sanctions in reaction to its February invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has announced a “no-limits alliance” with China, which has likewise refused to criticise Russia’s conduct.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov landed in Delhi late Thursday after a visit to China, where he praised Beijing as part of a new “multipolar, fair, and democratic international order.”
On Friday Lavrov was set to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar.