'Russia is an unreliable source': US after India's oil trade comments in Moscow
"We've also been very clear that now is not the time for business as usual with Russia," the US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. "It's incumbent on countries worldwide to do everything they can to reduce economic ties with Russia."
The US State Department sent a message reiterating its position and saying it's in the collective interest that India should reduce its reliance on Russia, but the issue is again one of India's bilateral interests with Russia, said the US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, just a day after foreign minister S Jaishankar's recent visit to Russia. According to the spokesperson, countries have learned that Russia is not a reliable energy source. "Russia is an unreliable source of security assistance. Russia is untrustworthy in any realm," Ned Price added.
It's not in the interests of the region or Ukraine, but in the collective interest, that India should reduce its reliance, according to Ned Price. "It's in the collective interest that India reduces its reliance on Russia over time, but it's also in India's own bilateral interest given what we've seen from Russia," Ned Price added when asked about the US position on countries doing business with Russia as long as those countries also condemn the ongoing war.
While replaying the question, Ned Price said, "No, to be very clear, we have purposefully exempted oil and gas, the energy sector, from the sanctions imposed on Russia. So the fact that India has a high energy demand and continues to seek oil and other forms of energy from Russia is not in violation of the sanctions."
"We've also been very clear that now is not the time for business as usual with Russia," Ned Price said. "It's incumbent on countries worldwide to do everything they can to reduce economic ties with Russia."
The US State Department spokesperson acknowledged that India had reaffirmed its opposition to the war, although India-Russia ties date back centuries. When it comes to the India-Russia relationship, the White House has made the point that it has developed and been cemented over the course of decades, according to Ned Price. "... during the cold war, when the United States was not in a position to be an economic, security, or military partner to India," he explained.
According to the US spokesperson, that has changed in the last 25 years or so. "It's really a bipartisan legacy that this country has achieved over the last quarter century," he said.
He added, "We have always been clear that this is a change that will not happen over the course of a few weeks, months, or even years.