The president told reporters at the White House that he had been briefed on the three Americans missing in Ukraine.
“I don’t know where they are. But I want to repeat it again. Americans shouldn’t go to Ukraine. I’ll say it again. Americans shouldn’t go to Ukraine,” he said. In response to a question about India, Biden said, “I have been to India twice and will be back. My relationship with (India is) very good.”
Biden’s comments came a day after State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US is there for India and reiterated that New Delhi’s relationship with Moscow developed over decades when Washington was “unwilling or was able to be a preferred partner” for the Indian government.
Price responded to a question about whether the US was in talks with Indian authorities as India and other Asian countries become an increasingly vital source of oil revenue for sanctioned Russia, despite strong pressure from America.
“We’ve had some conversations with our Indian partners and the point we’ve made is that each country will have a different relationship with Moscow,” Price told reporters during his daily press conference on Thursday.
Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become India’s second-largest oil supplier after Iraq, as refineries buy Russian crude oil available at a huge discount after the war in Ukraine, industrial data recently revealed.
India, the world’s third-largest oil-importing and consuming nation, has long defended its purchase of crude oil from Russia after President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine. The oil ministry said last month that “energy purchases from Russia remain minuscule compared to India’s total consumption.”
Price said India’s relationship with Russia has evolved over decades.
“It has evolved over decades at a time when the United States was unwilling or unable to be the Indian government’s partner of choice,” he said.
“That has changed. This is a legacy of a two-pronged tradition that has been going on for over two decades now. It really goes back to the Clinton administration, especially the George W. Bush administration, where the United States has a partnership sought with India, has sought to be a partner of choice for India, including when it comes to the security domain,” he said.
This is not a partnership built over days, weeks or months, Price said.
“I have said before that India’s relationship with Russia has been built over many decades as countries refocus their relationship with Moscow, as we have seen many of them do. This will be a gradual process,” he said in response. on a question.
“But through it all, we’ve made it clear to our Indian partners that we’re here for them. We’re ready and able and willing to work with them. And that’s exactly what we’ve done,” said Price.
“Of course we had a ‘2+2’ dialogue with our Indian partners not too long ago. We will see Prime Minister Narendra Modi again in the context of the I2U2, the arrangement we have with the UAE and Israel, along with India, with India being part of many of the partnerships we have, including of course the Quad,” he said.
“And that’s a group that this government has been trying to revive, and it has done it at a very high level,” the official added.
To revitalize and revive US alliances worldwide, the US, UAE, India and Israel have formed a new group called I2-U2. The four countries in the new grouping will hold their first virtual summit next month.
Quad covers Japan, India, Australia and the United States. The four countries had formed the Quadrilateral Coalition in 2017 to counter China’s aggressive behavior in the Indo-Pacific region.