It is going to be a long-term proposition for India – which has a decades-old relationship with Moscow – to reorient its foreign policy away from Russia, the United States has said.
It said it was working “very closely” with India through the Quad as well as other forums.
“It is not for me to speak about another country’s foreign policy. But what I can do is point out what we have heard from India. We have seen countries around the world speak clearly, including with their votes in the UN General Assembly against Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. But we also recognise, as I was saying just a moment ago, that this is not flipping a light switch,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters.
“This is something that, especially for countries that have historical relationships with Russia. Relationships that, as is the case with India, extend back decades, it is going to be a long-term proposition to re-orient foreign policy away from Russia,” he said in response to a question.
The United States, he said, has worked very closely with India bilaterally and through the Quad “to signal, and the Indians have done so very clearly what should be the inviolable principle of state sovereignty”.
Mr Price was responding to a series of questions on a multilateral joint military exercise that involves Russia and China and several other countries, including India.
“Countries routinely make their own sovereign decisions. It is absolutely their right to do so regarding what, if any, military exercises to take part in. I’ll also note that most of the participating countries also routinely participate in a wide array of military exercises and exchanges with the United States as well,” he said.
“So, we don’t read anything into their engagements in this activity. Now, the broader point is that we have seen a burgeoning relationship including in the security realm between the PRC and Russia. We’ve seen a burgeoning relationship between Russia and Iran for example, and we have made public elements of that,” he said.
That is of concern because of the vision that the countries like China and Russia have for the international order, Mr Price said.
“It is a vision that is starkly at odds with the liberal vision that we and our allies and partners have for the international system. And is starkly at odds with the underpinnings of the international system that has been in place for some eight decades following the end of the second World War, a system that has undergirded unprecedented levels of stability, security, prosperity across the world that includes including Europe, Indo-Pacific and everywhere in between,” he noted.
“It is the difference between a profoundly liberal order and a profoundly illiberal order in which all of the principles that the United States, that our allies, that our partners, that the United Nations, and that, by the way, countries like Russia and China have previously stood for and in some cases still profess to stand for,” Mr Price said.
“It is a vision that is profoundly opposed to many of those principles. We’ve been very clear in our engagements with the PRC regarding the consequences of doing so. We have yet to see any change in the PRC behavior indicating that they are moving in that direction,” Mr Price said.