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April 14, 2022
Ministerial Dialogue: U.S.-India deepen understanding in midst of differences
Source: News India Times
Journalist T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman
Lisa Curtis, Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), said it was expected that the meetings would go well as the Biden administration has been exercising tremendous patience with the fact that India has such divergent positions on Russia. So, this was an effort by the administration to focus on other important bilateral issues to show that the US-India partnership is still delivering despite their differences.
“It seems clear that a good relationship with India is a high priority for the administration. The conversations in the 2+2 dialogue appear to have been very wide ranging as they discussed how to operationalize a major bilateral defense partnership agreement along with other topics such as climate change, and COVID,” Curtis, who was Deputy Assistant to the President, and Senior Director for South and Central Asia at the National Security Council, during the Trump administration, told News India Times.
Regarding India’s developing statements about the Russia-Urkaine war, Lisa Curtis underscored that India is taking a tougher stance regarding human rights atrocities in Ukraine. Although, Indian officials are still reluctant to call out Russia by name, there is an appreciation that India is coming out and calling for independent investigations of what has happened in Bucha, she said.
Curtis also felt that Indian officials recognize that as Russia comes under increasing sanctions, Moscow will be a less reliable partner and therefore, India’s reliance on Russian military exports will likely decrease. While stating there’s an expectation that India is going to diversify its military suppliers out of necessity given the fact that Russia will be isolated within the global economy, she however cautioned, “if India continues to rely heavily on Russian military equipment, and its position does not evolve, then I think it becomes more difficult for the US to sell sophisticated defense technologies to India. It may also be difficult for the Quad, to cooperate on areas or to deepen its cooperation on areas like maritime security.”
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