New York: State Department spokesman Ned Price has admitted that India developed defense ties with Russia because the US was unprepared for a relationship when the Soviet Union and India became closer.
He said on Tuesday that despite India’s historic ties with Russia, the US is New Delhi’s “partner of choice” and that ties with Washington, including in defense and security, continue to evolve.
#WATCH | Responding to ANI's question on whether or not all QUAD partners are in sync with India's historic relationship with Russia, US State Dept Spox Ned Price said, "We're a partner of India when it comes to shared interests…US is a partner of choice for India now." pic.twitter.com/z8g5ybnCOi
Price made the remarks when a reporter asked about President Joe Biden’s statement at his briefing on Monday that India among the Quad partners was “unsteady” in isolating Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
“You raised an interesting point in history, where we are now,” Price said. Relations with the Soviet Union began and continued with Russia after the dissolution of the communist mega-state.
He referred to the statement of Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in New Delhi on Monday that India had historic defense ties with Russia. “It was a very different time, different ideas, but those times have changed,” Price said.
“They have changed in terms of our willingness and ability to be a strong defense and security partner of India,” and have deepened over the past 25 years or so with bipartisan support, he said. He credited former Republican President George W. Bush for fostering closer ties with India.
“It’s a legacy in large part to the George W. Bush administration, where we’ve seen this bilateral relationship between the United States and India grow and deepen and deepen in many ways, including our defense and security ties,” he said. spoke.
“Despite the historical ties, we are now the partner of choice for India, as are many of our allies and allies around the world,” he said. He clarified that close ties with India are centered around shared interests in the Indo-Pacific.
“In the context of our relationship with India in the quad context and in the bilateral context, we know that India is an essential partner for us in realizing our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Price said. The heart of the Quad’s goals,” he said.
The Quad made up of India, the US, Japan and Australia is united in opposing Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific region.
During their talks with India and the Quad, Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed their commitment to “a free and open Indo-Pacific in which the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states is respected, and the country’s military , are free from economic, and political coercion,” he said.
He said those principles were again reaffirmed by India’s Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australia’s Scott Morrison and Japan’s Fumio Kishida at their summits on March 3.
“They also reaffirmed their dedication to the Quad as a mechanism to promote regional stability and security,” he said. Responding to another question about US relations with countries in the Middle East, Price spoke of cooperation with India there.
He referred to the “trilateral relationship” between the US, India and the UAE and said, “It is a relationship, a tripartite relationship that we will continue to invest in and continue to develop.”
In fact, in what could be the seed of another quad, India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, Foreign Minister Antony Blinken and Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and UAE’s Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed held a virtual meeting while the Indian Minister of Israel in October and agreed to cooperate in maritime security and discussed future cooperation at regional and global levels.
The Indo-US civil nuclear deal between Bush and then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005 sealed a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries.
Improvements in relations that began before the accord, which set the stage for India’s virtual recognition of India as a nuclear power entitled to international nuclear cooperation in civilian areas, began under subsequent Republican and Democratic administrations.
Although the US came to India’s aid after its defeat in the 1962 China War, as a member of a military alliance with Pakistan, the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) Washington was indifferent to India and certainly with Bangladesh during became hostile towards India. Freedom Struggle in 1971.
While American weapons poured into Pakistan, India turned to the Soviet Union and signed a treaty of friendship with it in 1971, involving mutual strategic cooperation.
While India’s ties with the US and its allies have grown since then, New Delhi still relies on Russia to make a break with Moscow for a large part of its defense needs – or provoke it – is now nearly impossible.
Without the continued Russian defence supplies, India would find it difficult to stand up to China`s aggression — the driving force behind the Quad and the US Indo-Pacific strategy.