Washington (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will virtually meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, the White House said, at a time when the United States has made clear it does not want to see an uptick in Russian energy imports by India.
“President Biden will continue our close consultations on the consequences of Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine and mitigating its destabilizing impact on global food supply and commodity markets,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Sunday.
Daleep Singh, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics, who visited India recently, said the United States will not set any “red line” for India on its energy imports from Russia but does not want to see a “rapid acceleration” in purchases.
Lured by steep discounts following Western sanctions on Russian entities, India has bought at least 13 million barrels of Russian crude oil since the country invaded Ukraine in late February. That compared with some 16 million barrels for the whole of last year, data compiled by Reuters shows.
Biden has previously said that only India among the Quad group of countries was “somewhat shaky” in acting against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
The South Asian nation has tried to balance its ties with Russia and the West but unlike other members of the Quad countries – United States, Japan and Australia – it has not imposed sanctions on Russia.
Ukraine on Sunday said it was seeking another round of European Union sanctions against Moscow and more military aid from its allies as it braces for a major Russian offensive in the east of the country.
Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation.”