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US says India remains strategic partner even as Nato sees Russia-China axis – Times of India



Chidanand Rajghatta

WASHINGTON: The United States has said India will continue to be its “strategic partner” despite disquiet in Washington over Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s recent visit to Moscow, even as the US-led Nato appears to see the emergence of a Russia-China axis.
Amid publicly expressed concerns from the State Department over Modi’s meetings with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the Pentagon on Wednesday said the United States “will continue to view India as a strategic partner…will continue to have a robust dialogue with them,” while hoping New Delhi will play a role in persuading Moscow to end its war on Ukraine.
“India and Russia have had a relationship for a very long time. From a US perspective, India is a strategic partner with whom we continue to engage in full and frank dialogue to include their relationship with Russia,” Pentagon press secretary major general Pat Ryder told reporters at a news conference, in the backdrop of the Nato summit in Washington, where the alliance called China a “decisive enabler” of Russia in its war on Ukraine.
Amid critical commentary in the US media that the Modi trip to Moscow showed Putin was not as isolated as claimed by the Biden administration, Ryder suggested the Russian leader may be trying to represent the visit in such a manner but “the fact of the matter is President Putin’s war of choice has isolated Russia from the rest of the world, and it has come at great cost.”
He also pointed out that Modi also met recently with the Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and offered his assurances that India will continue to do everything within its means to support a peaceful solution to the war in Ukraine.
“I think that we trust that India will support efforts to realise an enduring and just peace for Ukraine and will convey to Mr Putin the importance of adhering to the UN charter and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he added.
The Biden administration’s (and Nato’s) view of Russia and its invasion of Ukraine is undercut by the fact that former President Donald Trump and his MAGA principals take a more benign view of Moscow, believing that the US “deep state” is unnecessarily stoking wars, in part by extending Nato to Russia’s borders.
The possibility of Trump’s return to the White House has been a constant undercurrent at the Nato summit which concludes on Thursday, with many European leaders expressing apprehension about the future of the alliance should that happen.
The former President has been dismissive about Nato and its purpose, and on Wednesday, even as President Biden was talking up the alliance, Trump was denigrating it.
“I didn’t know what the hell Nato was too much before,” he told cheering supporters at an election rally, making his ignorance public. “But it didn’t take me long to figure it out, like about two minutes. And the first thing I figured out was they were not paying. We were paying, we were paying almost fully for Nato. And I said that’s unfair.”
He then went in to relate how he had told a shocked Nato ally that the US would not protect it from Russia if it did not pay its designated share of the alliance funding.
But amid the uncertainty surrounding Nato’s future should Trump return to the White House, the Atlantic alliance appeared to expand its sights beyond Moscow, saying China’s “no limits” partnership with Russia and its “large-scale support for Russia’s defense industrial base” are enabling Moscow to wage its war on Ukraine.
“This includes the transfer of dual-use materials, such as weapons components, equipment, and raw materials that serve as inputs for Russia’s defence sector,” the Nato declaration said.
China rejected the charges, saying the Nato summit was “filled with cold war mentality and belligerent rhetoric.”





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