“Moscow just wouldn’t come running to India’s defense if China decided to invade” was the ominous comment made towards India. In a bizarre series of events, the US has threatened India with consequences for propping up ruble trade and undermining the dollar based financial system.
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A senior US national security official has urged India to cut its commercial and military connections with Russia, threatening “consequences” for every country that aids Moscow in avoiding the latest round of Western sanctions.
Daleep Singh, Washington’s deputy national security advisor for international economics, spoke to journalists following a discussion with Indian authorities on Thursday, urging New Delhi to not increase Russian energy purchases and to prevent any actions that could “undermine” the US currency.
“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 any other exports that are currently being prohibited by the US,” he said, adding that the United States is “very keen for all countries, especially our allies and partners, not to create mechanisms that prop up the ruble and that attempt to undermine the dollar-based financial system.”
Whilst condemning Russia’s “needless war” in Ukraine, Singh stated his visit to India was “in a spirit of friendship to explain the mechanisms of our sanctions,” but cautioned that there might be “consequences [for] countries that actively attempt to circumvent or backfill” those penalties.
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When asked about the potential ramifications, the adviser refrained to comment, citing “private discussions that I’m not going to share publicly.”
Following reports that Moscow and New Delhi are cooperating on a rupee-ruble payment scheme, that would enable the two countries to undertake bilateral commerce in each other’s currencies, Singh made his statements. India has also accepted to purchase a volume of Russian crude oil at a reduced price, a move that has enraged the US and several allies, who have launched a punitive sanctions campaign aimed at isolating Russia’s economy and destabilizing the currency.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov paid a visit to New Delhi, which coincided with official discussions with Singh and UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
Despite the fact that US, Australian, and British officials have admonished India for refusing to comply with the sanctions, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price asserted that Washington is not “seeking to change” any country’s “relationship with the Russian Federation,” specifically mentioning India.
In response to Lavrov’s visit, Price said, “what we are seeking to do, whether it is in the context of India or other partners and allies around the world, is to do all we can” to ensure that “the international community is speaking in unison.”
Singh, who has been labeled the “architect” of the US sanctions regime against Moscow, went on to say that strengthening connections between Russia and China might have big ramifications for India, which already has long been embroiled in a border conflict with Beijing along the Sino-Indian border.
“If you set that against the reality that China and Russia have now declared a no limits partnership, and that Russia has said that China is its most important strategic partner, by extension, that has real implications for India,” he said, asserting that Moscow just wouldn’t “come running to India’s defense” if China decided to invade.