US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke during the US-India 2 + 2 ministerial dialogue at the State Department in Washington, DC, on Monday. (Michael McCoy / Poole / AFP / Getty Images)
Standing next to Indian Foreign and Defense Ministers on Monday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken sent a strong message of support for Ukraine.
Blinken noted that the United States will continue to call on nations to support Kyiv, “as we call on all nations to condemn Moscow’s increasingly brutal actions.”
Speaking at a news conference after the 2 + 2 US-India ministerial meeting in Washington, Blinken said: “Russia’s war against Ukraine is an attack on the people of Ukraine. It is also an attack on this rule-based order, which we both adhere to and defend. “
The United States, Blinken said, “will continue to increase its support for the government and people of Ukraine and will call on other nations to do the same, just as we call on all nations to condemn Moscow’s increasingly brutal actions.”
Blinken said Russia’s war “stands in stark contrast to the vision shared by the United States and India of a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” and noted that Moscow’s actions have global implications.
India has continued to buy Russian oil since the war in Ukraine and abstained last week in a vote to remove Russia from the UN Human Rights Council.
The US secretary of state also said Monday that “India must make its own decisions on how to approach” the Russian war in Ukraine and that the United States believes that “it is important that all countries, especially those with levers, put pressure on Putin to end the war. ”
“As a joint proposal, we are consulting with all our allies and partners on the consequences of Putin’s war, the atrocities committed against the people of Ukraine,” Blinken told a news conference after the 2 + 2 US-India ministerial meeting. .
Blinken said it was important that “democracies stand together and speak with one voice in order to defend the values we share – and we deeply share the values of freedom, openness, independence, sovereignty, and these values must be applied everywhere.”
The top US diplomat noted that “India’s relations with Russia have been evolving for decades, at a time when the United States has not been able to be India’s partner”, but “times have changed” and the United States is “capable and want to choose a partner with India. ”
“And I would also like to note that India provides significant humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine, especially medicines that are much needed and in real demand,” he added.
Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar said India was “against the conflict” and “for dialogue and diplomacy” and “an emergency cessation of violence”.
“We are ready to contribute in any way to these goals,” he said.
Blinken said that “when it comes to oil purchases, sanctions, etc., I would just like to point out that there are exceptions to buying energy. Of course, we encourage countries not to buy additional energy supplies from Russia.
“Each country is different, has different needs, requirements, but we are looking for allies and partners not to increase their purchases of Russian energy,” Blinken said.
Regarding oil, Jaishankar said the world should look to Europe, suggesting that Europe buys more Russian oil than India.
Blinken said that President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “had a very warm and productive conversation” and “on Russia-Ukraine they talked about ways to mitigate the profound impact this has on world food supplies and prices.” commodity markets and work together to achieve this. “
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Lloyd Austin, who also attended the event, spoke of the importance of the United States and India remaining unanimous.
“As strategic threats converge, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it is more important than ever for the United States and India to stand together to defend our shared values and maintain an international order based on rules,” Austin said.