The US said it has made it clear that this is not a time for business as usual with Russia but India buying Russian oil does not ‘run afoul of the sanctions'. "It's in the collective interest that India decreases its dependence on Russia over time but it's also India's own bilateral interest given what we have seen from Russia," Ned Price said.
A day after foreign minister S Jaishankar asserted that India will continue buying oil from Russia as it is in India's advantage, the United States sent a message reiterating its position and said it is in the collective interest that India should decrease dependence on Russia, but again the issue is of India's bilateral interest with Russia, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. Countries have learnt the hard way that Russia is not a reliable source of energy, the spokesperson said. "Russia is not a reliable supplier of security assistance. Russia is far from reliable in any realm," Ned Price added.
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It is not in the interest of the region or Ukraine but the collective interest for which India should decrease its dependence, Ned Price said. "It's in the collection Interest that India decreases its dependence on Russia over time but it's also India's own bilateral interest given what we have seen from Russia," he added as he was questioned on US's stand as to whether the US is okay with countries doing business with Russia as long as those countries also condemn the ongoing war.
"No, to be very clear, we have been intentional about exempting oil and gas -- the energy sector-- from the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia. So the fact that India has a high demand for energy that it continues to seek oil and other forms of energy from Russia -- that is not something that runs afoul of the sanctions," Ned Price said replying to the question.
"We have also been very clear that now is not the time for business as usual with Russia and it's incumbent on countries around the world to do what they can to lessen those economic ties with Russia," Ned Price said.
The US state department spokesperson acknowledged that India has reaffirmed its stand against the warn while the India-Russia ties go back ages. When it comes to theIndia-Russia relationship, Ned Price said, the White House made the point that it's a relationship that developed and was cemented over the course of decades. "...durig the cold war at a time when the United States was not in a position to be an economic partner, a security partner, a military partner to India," he said.
That has changed over the past 25 or so years, the US spokesperson added. "It's really a legacy -- a bipartisan legacy -- that this country has achieved over the course of the past quarter century," he said.
"This is transition that we were always clear-eyed that will not take place overnight, over the course of even a few months or probably even over the course of a couple years," he said.