White House National Security Council (NSC) Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said on Tuesday said that it is up to India to decide to buy Russian oil and hoped that India will continue to buy Russian oil in keeping within the price cap.
Speaking on the price cap on Russian oil, Kirby said, "The price cap is working and proven effective. It's working and we are gratified to see that. It is up to India to decide and we hope that India will continue to buy oil in keeping within the price cap."
In December last year, the United States and its allies went after Russia's all-important oil revenues after a European ban and price cap on Russian oil.
Europe, along with the United States and other major economies, like the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, and Australia, agreed to a maximum of USD 60 per barrel on Russian seaborne oil, which means anyone who still wants to buy Russian oil has to pay that price or less if it wants to ship cargo through operators or insurers based in the EU or other countries who signed on to this price cap.
John Kirby said that India is a "key and important partner" for the United States not just in the Indo-Pacific but globally. He stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden will have discussions on a number of issues. He noted that India and US bilateral ties in the future will be "one of the most defining and important."
"India is a key and important partner, not just in the Indo-Pacific, but globally for the United States. In fact, it's one of the most defining bilateral relationships in the world now and if you just look ahead, look at where things are going, not just in that region, but elsewhere, I think it's safe to say that it's going to be one of the most defining and important bilateral relationships well into the future," said Kirby.
"And so in the context of that, you can expect that over the next few days, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi will have wide-ranging discussions about a lot of issues. Some issues are always easier to discuss than others, but that's what partners do, you have those kinds of conversations. I'm not going to get ahead of them. And I'm certainly not going to speak for either leader until they have a chance to speak for themselves at the end of their visits and meetings. But, I think you will see that the agenda they end up discussing is very robust and covers many issues," he added.
John Kirby noted that US President Joe Biden never shies away from holding discussions with foreign issues about issues on which they don't see eye-to-eye. He called the India-US bilateral partnership "hugely important" for Washington. It is pertinent to note here that India continues to buy Russian oil even after the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
When asked about Russia evading sanctions, Kirby said, "I mean, this is why we have constant dialogue with allies and partners and friends in the region and around the world. We don't want to see anybody try to skirt these sanctions. We want to see Mr Putin held to account and the Kremlin held to account. Now, obviously, every nation has to make these decisions for themselves, but our view has been very clear. We want to see all the international sanctions ascribed to and enforced appropriately so that Mr Putin can't benefit and we have no compunction about having conversations privately with allies, partners, and friends throughout the world, certainly on the European continent, about our concerns in that regard. But, obviously, we wouldn't get into detail about what the diplomatic conversations are."
"As I've said earlier, President Biden never shies away, nor would you expect him to from having conversations with foreign leaders about issues on which we don't always see eye to eye. That's important. That's why you have visits, that's why you have meetings. That's why you have these discussions so that you can work through all of those things. But, this is not only a very important visit for us, but this is a hugely important bilateral relationship that the President and his entire team Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo have all put a lot of energy into."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in New York on the first leg of his historic state visit to the United States. During his visit to New York, PM Modi will meet CEOs, Nobel laureates, economists, artists, scientists, scholars, entrepreneurs, academicians, and health sector experts today. He will attend Yoga Day celebrations at the UN headquarters on June 21.
PM Modi will then travel to Washington DC and receive a ceremonial welcome at the White House on June 22.US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will host a State Dinner in honour of the Prime Minister the same evening. The Prime Minister will also address a Joint Sitting of the US Congress on the same day.
On June 23, the Prime Minister will be jointly hosted at a luncheon by US Vice President Kamala Harris and the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. In addition to official engagements, the Prime Minister is scheduled to have several interactions with leading CEOs, professionals, and other stakeholders.
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