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The United States urges India to use its influence with Russia after 'abstain stain'

Source : The Economic Times

The United States urges India to use its influence with Russia after 'abstain stain'
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The United States is urging India to use its influence with Russia to protect the rules-based international order, after some disappointment mixed with understanding in Washington over New Delhi not coming in full and vocal support of western alliance's views on the Ukraine issue.

Asked if the Ukrainian crisis had strained India-US ties in the context of New Delhi good ties with both Russia and US, State Department spokesman Ned Price expressed Washington's understanding of India's relationship with Moscow that is "distinct" from the one the US has.

But, he said, the US has shared with India its "fervent belief that countries around the world, especially those countries that have a level of influence, of clout, of leverage with the Russian Federation needed to use that to good effect needed to use that to protect the rules-based international order."

Such a rules-based order have worked to the benefit of India, the United States, its European allies, and to the benefit of the Russian Federation over the course of some 70 years, Price said.

The US suggestion for an Indian intervention came even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the leaders of Russia and Ukraine, seemingly without any salutary effect.

Earlier, India, along with China and UAE, abstained from voting in a UN Security Council resolution condemning Russia for its invasion of Russia. The development did not seem to surprise the Biden administration, but there was some dismay in the strategic issues commentariat that New Delhi had not recognised its "major power responsibilities."

"India’s careful, avoid angering Putin at all costs response despite Russia’s blatant aggression vs Ukraine highlights that it remains unprepared to step up to major power responsibilities or be a dependable partner. Disappointing as well as short-sighted given rise of China," noted Richard Haas, a former Senior administration official.

There was plenty of clapback from India defenders who teed off on US invasions, Ukraine's own frequent votes against India at the UN, and the fact that Russia has used its veto at the UN to support New Delhi on many occasions.

Among the responses — "America's careful, avoid angering Pakistan at all costs response despite Pakistan's blatant aggression against USA's own troops in Afg till not so long ago highlights that it remains unprepared to live up to major power responsibilities or be a dependable whatever..."

While one critic dubbed the non-vote "abstain stain," the Biden administration was more circumspect on the issue, given that almost every one of the eight points made by New Delhi to explain its abstention was an implicit censure of Moscow, rather than of the western alliance.

"It is a matter of regret that the path of diplomacy was given up. We must return to it. For all these reasons, India has chosen to abstain on this resolution," India's Permanent Rep to UN, TS Tirumurti said at the UNSC meeting on Ukraine.

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