Washington, DC – In his virtual meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Biden affirmed that the US partnership with India is one of its most important relationships, said a Senior Administration official. The two leaders had had an hour-long, candid discussion, and the Senior Administration official characterized the meeting as “warm and productive.”
Both leaders continued the close consultations they have been having at several different levels of government and over many weeks on Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine. The US and India are partnering and consulting to mitigate the most destabilizing impacts on global food supply and other commodity markets.
Biden and Modi discussed the whole range of issues related to Russia and Ukraine. It was a very candid conversation, said the official. “There were very direct conversations on the energy issues. Of course, it’s a subject of discussion…We know that not all countries will be able to do what we’ve done. We know that India is not a major consumer of Russian oil. Its current imports are about one to two percent of its total energy imports.” The official added that energy payments are exempt from current sanctions, and although the US has been able to ban oil, LNG, and coal imports from Russia, other countries have to make their own choices. “That said, we don’t think India should accelerate or increase imports of Russian energy, and the US is ready to support India, remain in a conversation with India about diversification of imports.”
The President and PM Modi also spoke about joint efforts on the global effort to end the COVID 19 pandemic, climate, strengthen the global economy, and uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific, including the development of the Indo-Pacific economic framework and infrastructure.
Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin discussed these issues with their Indian counterparts, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar and Defense Minister Singh. The meetings covered sanctions compliance, cooperation on food supply, and energy. The two plus two will also covered the Science and Technology Partnership Initiative, people to people ties, counterterrorism, operationalizing the major defense partnership, new domains of cooperation and space, cyber and emerging technologies, and multilateral cooperation.