Biden urges Modi not to step up Indian use of Russian oil

  
Via:  Buzz of the Orient  •  3 months ago  •  8 comments

By:   By JOSH BOAK, FATIMA HUSSEIN and ASHOK SHARMA Associated Press

Biden urges Modi not to step up Indian use of Russian oil
 

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Biden urges Modi not to step up Indian use of Russian oil

President Joe Biden has asked India’s Narendra Modi not to accelerate the buying of Russian oil as the U.S. and other nations try to cut off Moscow’s energy income following the invasion of Ukraine

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President Joe Biden meets virtually with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus in Washington, Monday, April 11, 2022. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second left, and Indian Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh, second right, Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is right. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden asked India's Narendra Modi on Monday not to accelerate the buying of Russian oil as the U.S. and other nations try to cut off Moscow's energy income following the invasion of Ukraine. The Indian prime minister made no public commitment to refrain from Russian oil, a source of tension with the U.S.

Meeting by video call, Biden told Modi that the U.S. could help India diversify its sources of energy, according to press secretary Jen Psaki. Even though India receives little of its oil from Russia, it stepped up recently with a major purchase as other democracies are trying to isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The president also made clear that he doesn’t believe it’s in India’s interest to accelerate or increase imports of Russian energy or other commodities,” Psaki said.

At a separate State Department news conference with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar pointedly suggested that Europe, not India, be the focus of Washington's concern about energy purchases from Russia.

“I suspect, looking at the figures, probably our total purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon,” he said.

While Biden and Modi ended their session with Biden saying they committed to strengthening their relationship, White House officials could not say if India stood with them in fully condemning Putin, saying the choice ultimately rested with Modi's government. The two leaders will meet in person May 24 in Tokyo for a summit of the Quad, a coalition that also includes Australia and Japan.

At the State Department news conference, Blinken appeared to seek to cajole India into taking a stronger stance on the conflict in Ukraine, appealing to the country’s interest in upholding the international rules-based order and pointing out that resource-stretched Indians may be affected by both energy and  food  shortages caused by the war.

“Russia’s aggression stands in stark contrast to the vision that the United States and India share for a free and open Indo-Pacific, and Russia’s actions are having a profound impact not just in Europe and Ukraine, but around the world, for example, causing food insecurity and rising prices,” Blinken told reporters after the meetings concluded.

India’s neutral stance in the war has raised concerns in Washington and earned praise from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who lauded India this month for judging “the situation in its entirety, not just in a one-sided way.”

Biden opened the video conversation by emphasizing the defense partnership between the two countries and by saying the U.S. and India are going to “continue our close consultation on how to manage the destabilizing effects of this Russian war" on food and other commodities.

“The root of our partnership is a deep connection between our people, ties of family, of friendship and of shared values,” the U.S. president said.

Modi on Monday called the situation in Ukraine “very worrying,” and he noted that an Indian student lost his life during the war. He said he has spoken with Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, appealing to both of them for peace. India has condemned the killings uncovered in the city of Bucha and has called for an independent investigation.

A senior U.S. official described the Biden-Modi exchange as warm and productive, though the official stressed that India would make its own decisions on how to respond to Putin. The official insisted on anonymity to discuss the meeting.

Biden and Modi discussed how to manage the risks of global instability regarding food, humanitarian relief and climate change, and Modi candidly shared his views about some of the tight links between Russia and China that raise concerns, the official said.

Also Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met in person with Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

Austin appealed to India to act together with fellow democracies, a form of government based on the popular consent of the people that stands in contrast to autocracies such as China and Russia.

“Now more than ever, democracies must stand together to defend the values that we all share,” Austin said.

India has refrained from some efforts to hold Russia accountable for its invasion. India abstained when the U.N. General Assembly voted Thursday to suspend Russia from its seat on the 47-member Human Rights Council over allegations that Russian soldiers in Ukraine engaged in rights violations that the U.S. and Ukraine have called war crimes.

The vote was 93-24 with 58 abstentions.

India continues to purchase Russian energy supplies, despite pressure from Western countries to avoid buying Russian oil and gas. The U.S. has also considered sanctions on India for its recent purchase of advanced Russian air defense systems.

Last month, the state-run Indian Oil Corp. bought 3 million barrels of crude from Russia to secure its needs, resisting entreaties from the West to avoid such purchases. India isn’t alone in buying Russian energy, however. Several European allies such as Germany have continued to do so, despite public pressure to end these contracts.

Indian media reports said Russia was offering a discount on oil purchases of 20% below global benchmark prices.

Iraq is India’s top supplier, with a 27% share. Saudi Arabia is second at around 17%, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 13% and the U.S. at 9%, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Sharma reported from New Delhi. AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.


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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    3 months ago

Comments are subject to the Confucius group RED BOX RULES which can be accessed by clicking this link -> or by clicking on the Confucius group avatar at the top right of the article page above. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    3 months ago

What will be Biden's next step? - to try to get the other members of the Quad fo pressure India to do what America "suggests", or else impose economic sanctions on India?  

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
2.1  bbl-1  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    3 months ago

Economic sanctions on India?  Perhaps not.  But--------what they make for us there----------we can gear up and make that for ourselves here.  Leaving Modi to make his money on nuclear tipped gas station Russia which could find itself in default territory in the future.  

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
3  bbl-1    3 months ago

Modi is corrupt.  India would be better served without him and his lackeys.  

Modi wants to bargain with Putin?  Let him.  It may prove to be a short trip on a long road.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  bbl-1 @3    2 months ago

In what way is Modi corrupt?  Is he considered corrupt because Ilhan Omar accused him of racial discrimination because India has banned hijabs for students in school?  Hasn't France and/or Switzerland done that as well?

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
3.1.1  bbl-1  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1    2 months ago

His corruption has little to do with religion.  He runs India in the same manner Putin runs Russia.

The hijabs are a deflection.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  bbl-1 @3.1.1    2 months ago

Asking you a question including what I think you might have meant is a deflection?  I asked you a question because I was not aware of what Modi had done that you considered corruption. I was puzzled.  So you did not give instances of corruption, but instead simply indicated what YOU consider to be a comparison.  A comparison?  Biden considers Putin to be a war criminal and an enemy and Modi to be a friend and an ally, and you compare Bodi to Putin.  Forget it.  Obviously you can't answer my question so just forget it. 

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
3.1.3  bbl-1  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1.2    2 months ago

?

 
 

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