The US believed that India, which is dedicated to a rules-based international order, would stand by it in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, which the Biden administration believes is likely following Moscow’s recent addition of 7,000 troops to Ukraine‘s border.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday that during the recently finished Quad ministerial in Melbourne, which includes foreign ministers from Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, a discussion on Russia and Ukraine took place. He stated that there was a “solid consensus” at that meeting that the Ukraine situation must be resolved diplomatically and peacefully.
India is committed to rules-based International System
“One of the Quad’s key tenets is to bolster the rules-based international order. And that is a rules-based order that applies equally in the Indo-Pacific, Europe, and elsewhere. We are aware of India’s commitment to a rules-based international system. That order has an infinite number of tenets. Among these is the fact that borders cannot be redrawn through force,” Price responded to an inquiry.
“That is, large nations cannot intimidate little nations. That only the citizens of a given country have the authority to choose their country’s foreign policy, partnerships, alliances, and associations. These are ideas that apply equally in the Indo-Pacific and Europe,” he remarked, referring to China’s assertive stance toward its neighbors, notably India.
India, the United States, and several other world powers have discussed the importance of ensuring a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific in light of China’s growing military posturing in the region. China claims almost the whole disputed South China Sea, while Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam all claim portions of it. In the South China Sea, Beijing has constructed artificial islands and military outposts.
Price stated that Secretary of State Antony Blinken and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar addressed defense matters, but abstained from commenting on whether prospective sanctions steps under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act were mentioned (CAATSA). CAATSA, which was enacted by the US Congress in 2017, allows for punitive sanctions against any country that conducts business with Russia’s defense and intelligence industries. “There was talk of our broad defense cooperation, but I’m hesitant to define it further,” Price added.
India inked a $5 billion deal with Russia in October 2018 to purchase five S-400 air defense missile systems, despite warnings from the Trump administration that proceeding with the sale would invite US sanctions. In 2019, India made the first payment of approximately $800 million to Russia for the missile systems. Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defense system is the S-400.
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