Washington: The US is engaging with India over the issue of Ukraine and this will continue at the Quad summit when President Joe Biden meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Japan next month, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has indicated.
“We have had a number of engagements, as you know, with leaders in India about our approach to supporting the Ukrainians in this war, whether that is sanctions and the enormous sanctions package we’ve put in place or, of course, the assistance we’ve provided. We will convey the same sentiments in this meeting,” Psaki said on Thursday.
She was responding to a question on the Quad summit in Japan in May and how the issue of Ukraine would be raised or discussed.
Her comments came amid increasing Western pressure on India to limit its economic ties with Russia and oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
India has not yet publicly condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine and has been pressing for the resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.
The Quad comprises Japan, India, Australia and the United States. The White House announced on Wednesday that President Biden will be meeting Prime Minister Modi on the sidelines of the Quad Summit in Japan.
Though the date of the Quad Summit has not be announced, the Japanese media has reported that it could be held on May 24.
“This meeting is several weeks away, so a lot can certainly happen. And as you know, other members of Quad have also been vital partners and supporters of the Ukrainians’ effort to fight the war, including Japan,” Psaki told reporters.
“I mean, Japan just as an example has not only provided a range of assistance, but they’ve also agreed to divert some of the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) resources to help Europe. So there’s a number of steps they have also taken that will be a part of the discussion, she said.
“And certainly, the President will provide an update on what we’re doing and where things stand at that point in time,” Psaki said.
“We’re just not quite there on previewing the agenda yet,” she added.
In New Delhi, India on Thursday once again said its objective has been to stabilise its economic engagement with Russia and that an inter-ministerial group is looking at resolving issues relating to payment mechanisms with Moscow.
Replying to a question at a media briefing, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said there is a possibility that the Western sanctions against Russia might impact India and the inter-ministerial group is looking into the issue.
“Our objective has been to see how (we) can stabilise the economic transactions or economic engagement that we are doing with Russia in the current context,” he said.
Bagchi said an inter-ministerial group led by the Finance Ministry is looking at the payment mechanisms. —PTI