New Delhi: In the season of new alignment making and trying to work a new axis vis-a-vis the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the US said it is not in favour of India “changing” its stance on Vladimir Putin and his country.
“It’s a fact of history; it’s a fact of geography. That is not something that we are seeking to change,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Thursday (March 31) when all eyes are on External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar’s parleys with the visiting Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
“Different countries are going to have their own relationship with the Russian Federation,” he stated.
Instead, he said, “What we are seeking to do, whether it is in the context of India or other partners and allies around the world, is to do all we can to see to it that the international community is speaking in unison, speaking loudly against this unjustified, unprovoked, premeditated aggression.”
He insisted that there should be a call to bring an end to the violence, using the leverage that countries, including India, have to those ends.
Price avoided any direct reply on ‘rupee-ruble trading arrangement’ and said, “I would refer to our Indian partners when it comes to any such rupee-ruble conversion that may have been discussed.”
“And that is all well and good. We understand that,” he said in reference to decades-old New Delhi-Moscow ties. He added, “What we are asking for, what we are calling for is that all countries use the leverage that they have to make sure that that message is coming across to Vladimir Putin loud and clear.”