Opinion | Modi-Biden Summit: India’s policy remains independent

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Opinion | Modi-Biden Summit: India’s policy remains independent

In a key virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden, along with Foreign and Defense Ministers of both countries, on Monday, both leaders had “an open exchange of views” on the war between Russia and Ukraine. . After the meeting, US officials said, “we will not tell India what to do (on Ukraine)”, but added, if India “sees tight ties between China and Russia”, it will “obviously affect their thinking”.

During the virtual meeting, Prime Minister Modi Biden said he had suggested direct talks between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents to resolve the crisis. Modi told the US president that he found the current situation in Ukraine “very worrying”. He told President Biden, “Recently, the news of the murder of innocent civilians in the Ukrainian city of Bucha was very worrying. We immediately condemned it and demanded an honest investigation. We have placed an interest in the security of the civilian population in Ukraine and the uninterrupted supply of humanitarian aid to them “. Modi said he still hoped that “ongoing talks between Russia and Ukraine will pave the way for peace.”

After the meeting, at the White House briefing, the spokesman was asked whether President Biden had “instructed India to take a stand”, the answer was: “India will make its own judgments … In the past days, India made some pretty strong statements in New York condemning the killing of civilians, supporting calls for an independent investigation.India also supplies humanitarian aid to Ukraine, including medicines and other supplies …. I think India makes its own decisions will take, but we will continue the discussions.

Regarding China, the White House official said, “..we know that India is worried about the ties between Russia and China. India is obviously facing a very tense situation along the Line of Actual Control. And as India the close ties between Russia and seeing China, that will obviously affect their thinking.

The virtual meeting between President Biden and Prime Minister Modi was followed by a personal meeting with Indian Secretary of State S. Jayashankar and Secretary of Defense Rajnath Singh, along with U.S. Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense. After the meeting, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was important that “all countries, especially those with leverage, push Putin to end the war, and it is also important that democracies work together and speak with one voice to defend the values ‚Äč‚Äčthat we share “

At the virtual meeting, Biden told PM Modi that buying more oil from Russia was not in India’s interest and could hinder the US response to the Ukrainian war. Indian Foreign Minister S. Jayashankar later told reporters that the US focus should be on Europe and not on India, as far as buying oil from Russia is concerned. “Probably our total purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in one afternoon,” he said.

Regarding the India-China issue, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told Defense Minister Rajnath Singh that America will continue to stand by India “if you defend your sovereign interest. China erodes the security of the Indo-Pacific region of” the construction of dual-use infrastructure along the Indian border to its illegal claims in the South China Sea, Rajnath Singh invited US companies to invest in setting up industry to produce defense products in India.

The US raises the issue of China in bilateral talks because it wants to convey the message that both Russia and China have now closed their hands, and it was in India’s interest to support the US in the Ukraine-Russia war issue . The balance of power among superpowers has changed and along with this, the scenario for international foreign relations has changed. Comparisons between different countries have changed substantially and India has now strongly begun to express its opinion on international issues.

We must take into account the developments that have taken place in Europe in the last two months after Russia attacked Ukraine. This virtual meeting between Modi and Biden took place in the context of India holding meetings with leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Germany, UK, France, Japan and Australia. Russian President Putin was the first to speak to Modi and he sent his foreign minister to Delhi. The Chinese Foreign Minister also paid a sudden visit to India. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called on Modi to mediate and end the two-month-long war.

India, as a responsible world power, is trying its best to bring an end to hostilities in Ukraine. At the same time, it was decided to increase the export of wheat to countries affected by food shortages due to the Ukraine war. India, for its part, is trying to keep a tight rein on domestic oil prices by importing it from Russia and other countries. Prime Minister Modi’s position is quite clear: India will keep its own interests at the forefront when deciding on its position on international issues. At the same time, India wants an early end to the war in Ukraine.

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