India-US agree very much on restoration of enduring peace in Ukraine: Biden administration

Washington: India and the United States "agree very much" that the restoration of an enduring peace in Ukraine is essential, the Biden administration has said.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price also said his country is engaging very closely with its allies and partners, including India, on the conflict in Ukraine and that the international community firmly recognises the need to hold Russia to account.

“We agree very much with India that the restoration of an enduring peace in Ukraine is essential. This is the same message that President (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy himself has issued. During the G-20, he spoke to the assembled world leaders, laid out his vision for a just peace. This is something that we very much welcome,” he told reporters at his daily news conference on Friday.

“We do welcome India's support for the people of Ukraine. India has provided humanitarian assistance and calls by India for an immediate end to Russia's brutal war against Ukraine. We also very much agree with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi's assertion that today's era is not an era of war. Of course, that was a comment that was echoed at the G-20. We've heard that comment at the UN as well,” he said.

The United States believes that countries such as India which have a relationship with Russia and with Ukraine may be in a position to help bring about dialogue and diplomacy that could one day put an end to this war, Price said.

“I say one day, and I put this in the conditional because there is one country that of course has demonstrated no willingness to put an end to this war, to end the brutal aggression, and that, of course, is Russia," the State Department official said.

Even in the context of recent discussions, "we took note of the Kremlin statement that the Kremlin is willing to engage in dialogue, but only if the new territorial realities are recognised”, he said.

Responding to a question, Price said the United States is engaging very closely with all of our allies and partners around the world on the question of Russia's brutal aggression against Ukraine.

“Of course, that includes India. The international community firmly recognises the need to hold Russia to account for the atrocities that it has committed and that its forces are committing in Ukraine,” he said.

“Russia's war has affected not only Ukraine. As important as Ukraine is and this conflict, this war that Russia is perpetrating against Ukraine is, this is much bigger in a sense. It has affected countries around the world in any number of ways," Price said.

Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar stated during his November visit to Moscow that "this war, in the aftermath of two years of the Covid pandemic, has caused significant economic pain, particularly to developing countries”, he said.

“We've also seen a spike in food prices, a spike in energy prices, upwards pressure on inflation around the world. All of these are exacerbated by Russia's illegal unprovoked war against Ukraine. We have been in regular close contact with India regarding what we can do to hold Russia accountable and to impose additional costs on Russia for its war,” Price said.

“We may not always share precisely the same policy approaches, but we both share a commitment to upholding a rules-based international order that respects territorial integrity and sovereignty," he said.

This is at the heart of the United States' global strategic partnership with India, and it is at the heart of what "we seek to do with the quad, with the other bilateral and multilateral work we do with our Indian partners”, Price said.


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