India unlikely to look at Russia as secure friend: Congressman Ro Khanna

India is unlikely to look at Russia as a "secure" friend, given Moscow's closer ties with Beijing in the wake of the raging war in Ukraine, a top Indian-American Congressman has said

Press Trust of India Washington
Congressman Ro Khanna

Congressman Ro Khanna

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India is unlikely to look at Russia as a "secure" friend, given Moscow's closer ties with Beijing in the wake of the raging war in Ukraine, a top Indian-American Congressman has said.

Congressman Ro Khanna told a group of reporters over a luncheon interaction on Tuesday that the goal of Indian Americans in the US Congress should be to strengthen the relationship.

"I don't think that given the closer ties between Russia and China, India would look to Russia as a secure friend to hedge against the invasion, potentially, of its border in Asia, and that they (Indians) know the United States would be a more trusted partner for that objective, he said.

It is in India's interest to align more firmly with the US in terms of the "best hedge" against China, he said, adding that it has been a significant factor in Indian foreign policy.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has been clear that that doesn't mean they will march lockstep with our interests in the United States, but they want to align at this moment because they see that it's strategically important, Khanna said.

Unlike its Quad partner countries, India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it abstained from the votes at the UN platforms on the Russian aggression.

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India has been pressing for an immediate cessation of violence in Ukraine and seeking a resolution of the crisis through diplomacy and dialogue.

Khanna, who in his capacity as Co-Chair of the Congressional India Caucus, is hosting the first-of-its-kind US-India Summit at the Capitol.

The summit, among others, would be addressed by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, along with India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu and virtually by US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti.

Deputy Secretary of State Rich Verma, and House Minority Leader Congressman Hakeem Jeffries would also attend the summit.

Eminent members from the Indian American community are also participating in the conference, including community leader Ajay Bhutoria who would speak on the H-1B issue.

Responding to a question, Khanna said the idea that Indian Americans in the United States can reshape Indian society is naive.

But we can affirm our own values and speak clearly about our own values. So that's a model which we hope others will see as persuasive.

"So the goal of Indian Americans in Congress should be to strengthen the relationship while continuing to speak to basic values and standing up for those values and speaking out where we think those values aren't being upheld, he said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Apr 26 2023 | 3:58 PM IST

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