India, US to Strengthen Defence Relations amid CAATSA Discussions
Ministers hold a press conference following the fourth edition of the annual dialogue. India’s relations with Russia and the CAATSA were asked of US ministers. Secretary Blinken answered CAATSA related questions as, “ India’s relationship with Russia has developed over decades at a time when the United States was not able to be a partner to India. Times have changed. Today we are able and willing to be a partner of choice with India across virtually every realm – commerce, technology, education, and security. And that was very much the nature of the conversation that we had today.
When it comes to oil purchases, sanctions, et cetera, I’d just note that there are carveouts for energy purchases. Of course, we’re encouraging countries not to purchase additional energy supplies from Russia. Every country is differently situated and has different needs and requirements, but we’re looking to allies and partners not to increase their purchases of Russian energy.”
There are reports that India is buying greater volumes of Russian oil at a discount and, two countries are trying to establish a ruble-rupee trade mechanism that will bypass the USD. Those developments are added to the Indian S-400 acquisition programme. The Biden Administration has not imposed the sanctions due to India’s crucial role in Washington’s attempts to form a China-containment coalition.
Answering a question about the US- Indian relation in defence and security, Secretary Austin said, “we’re committed to launching new defence base exchanges later this year between our Space Command and India’s Defense Space Agency. And I’m pleased to announce that just a few moments ago, we signed a bilateral Space Situational Awareness arrangement, and this will support greater information sharing and cooperation in space.”