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May 12, 2022
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Washington furious at India’s firm refusal to join anti-Russian sanctions

Russia and India signed an agreement on the program of military-technical cooperation until 2030

Recently, the United States has been exerting unprecedented diplomatic pressure on India (a country with a population of about one and a half billion people!) in order to force her to join the anti-Russian sanctions.

At the end of March, Joe Biden publicly chastised India, expressing dissatisfaction with the fact that the leading Asian democracy does not want to participate in the sanctions war against Russia. Then US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland flew to India, saying that India should join in the condemnation of Russia.

Early April in New Delhi bestowed Deputy National Security Adviser to the President of the United States, architect of sanctions against Russia Duleep Singh. During a meeting with reporters, this descendant of the Maharaja of Punjab behaved so bluntly and rudely that he provoked a sharp rebuff in the Indian media.

He feared the grave consequences that would come for countries that create “mechanisms that support the ruble and undermine the dollar financial system.” Duleep Singh also told the Indians that the United States “wouldn’t like to see a rapid acceleration of India’s imports of energy and any other products from India”.

On April 11, Joe Biden, during a video conference with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, persuaded him not to increase imports of Russian oil. According to Biden, increasing imports of oil and other goods from Russia is not in India’s interests. The answer to these persuasions and threats followed the next day. On April 12, at a press conference following a meeting in Washington with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar stated that “India imports the amount of oil it needs to ensure energy security”. Now India is rapidly increasing its oil imports from Russia.

Irritated by the intransigence of the Indians, the US turned on the old hurdy-gurdy of India’s lack of respect for human rights. At a joint press conference with Indian Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken said that “The United States is aware of cases of human rights violations by the Indian government, police and prison officials”. In response, Subramanyam Jaishankar drew attention to human rights violations in the United States, noting that India would not remain silent about this.

American dissatisfaction with the firm position of India has already reached a high intensity. At the same time, India does not confine itself to declarations of intent to develop economic relations with Russia. In the Indian business media, there is a concrete analysis of the mechanism of cooperation with Russia in the conditions of the sanctions war. economic times writes about the creation of an “international transfer system” for conducting financial transactions between countries: “India has proposed a number of transaction platforms, from which the Russian authorities have chosen a specific protocol”.

Financial experts in India are analyzing the possible use of the yuan as a reference currency for assessing the ruble-rupee mechanism in payments for Russian oil. In an article in Business standard talks about “progress in creating a mechanism for trading in rubles and rupees” and the achievement of preliminary agreements during a visit to the Reserve Bank of India by representatives of three Russian banks – VTB, Sberbank and Gazprombank.

India’s Indian business media write that India will do what is beneficial to it by buying Russian oil and Russian weapons. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Russian VEB complete “creating an alternative transaction window for bilateral trade”. American blackmail does not work.

“India has stated that it will continue to use its trade mechanism with Russia and other countries, based on its national interests”– noted in an interview with the portal “Eurasia. Expert, associate professor of the Indian Central University named after Mahatma Gandhi Aslam Khan. “First of all, – he said, – even before the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the countries started trading in liquefied natural gas. India received the first batch of Russian gas in October 2021, and this trade relationship could last 20 years or more. The second reason is the reduction in natural gas prices by almost 29% for Indian companies, while the price of oil from Russia is 20% below world prices. Indian refiners such as Indian Oil Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum bought 3 million and 2 million barrels of oil, respectively. India also buys shipments rejected by European countries… Russia and India are exploring an alternative payment mechanism as Russia has been excluded from the SWIFT payment system. Alternatives include merging India’s Single Payment Interface (UPI) with Russia’s Faster Payments System to continue hassle-free trading. India has several defense partnerships with Russia, including joint projects in the fields of missiles, tanks and so on, as well as space flights. Russia is also a key arms supplier to India.”.

There is a growing understanding in Asia that the US does not hesitate to abandon its allies when it suits them. Against the background of this understanding, a truly historic process began – the rapprochement of India and China. “Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi… delivered a conciliatory note to India’s longtime rival and called on the two Asian giants to speak with one voice on his first visit to New Delhi since a tense border standoff started two years ago.” – writes Washington Post. Now the US administration is studying the possibility of imposing sanctions on India in connection with its dependence on military equipment from Russia, reports Hill referring to US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Donald Lu.

Meanwhile, on December 6, 2021, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced a meeting of the Russian-Indian Intergovernmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation in New Delhi. An agreement was signed on a program of military-technical cooperation until 2030. Russia and India also signed a contract for the joint production of 600,000 AK-203 assault rifles at a plant in Korva, Uttar Pradesh.

The joint statement on the results of the 21st Russian-Indian summit “Russia-India: partnership for peace, progress and prosperity” says: “Military and military-technical cooperation is traditionally the cornerstone of the Russian-Indian especially privileged strategic partnership”.

Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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