The Joe Biden administration is concerned about Indian involvement in Russia’s massive war games, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday. Roughly 50,000 troops from several countries will participate in the “Vostok” military games held in far eastern Russia.
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Responding to a question about Indian involvement in the Russian-hosted exercises, Jean-Pierre said, “So, the United States has concerns about any country exercising with Russia while Russia wages a unprovoked, brutal war against Ukraine.” She continued, “But, of course, every participating country will make its own decisions. And I’ll leave it at that.”
New Delhi is participating in the Vostok 2022 war games hosted by Moscow from September 1-7. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, 50,000 troops and 5,000 weapons units, including 140 aircraft and 60 warships partake in the drills. Soldiers from China, Laos, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Syria, and Tajikistan are also joining the exercises that will stretch into the Sea of Japan.
At the same time, India is involved in the Pitch Black 2022 war games. Hosted by Australia, the military exercises include 17 nations, over 100 aircraft and 2,500 soldiers. All four members of the anti-China The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or ‘The Quad’ are engaging in the drills.
While Jean-Pierre expressed concern, the White House stopped short of saying it would take action against New Delhi. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, President Joe Biden pledged to isolate the Russian economy. However, Washington’s economic war against Moscow has failed as Wall Street analysts are now predicting a more robust Russian economy.
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The Kremlin has weathered its isolation from the US and many of its Western allies by selling more to Beijing, New Delhi and Ankara. This year, Turkey has doubled its Russian oil imports. To bypass American sanctions, Russian diamond traders have recently adopted the Indian Rupee.
Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, assistant editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter.