Modi, Biden to hold virtual meeting tomorrow on bilateral cooperation
New Delhi: Amid growing pressure from the Western countries on India over oil deals with Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden will hold a virtual meet on Monday.
"The two leaders will review ongoing bilateral cooperation and exchange views on recent developments in South Asia, the Indo-Pacific region and global issues of mutual interest," a media release said.
The virtual meeting will enable both sides to continue their regular and high-level engagement aimed at further strengthening the bilateral Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, it added.
The interaction will be fllowed by India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, which will be headed by Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singhand Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar on the Indian side and their US counterparts, Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The ministers will also hold other meetings on the sidelines of the talks.
"The 2+2 Ministerial is an important opportunity to advance our shared objectives across the breadth of the US-India Strategic Partnership, including enhancing our people-to-people ties and education cooperation, building diverse, resilient supply chains for critical and emerging technology, scaling up our climate action and public health cooperation, and developing a trade and investment partnership to increase prosperity for working families in both countries," the Office of the US State Department Spokesperson had said two days ago.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is also likely to come up during the meeting. The meeting holds deeper significance as Biden Administration's key architect for Russian sanctions Indian-American Daleep Singh had warned that there will be consequences for the countries trying to "backfill or circumvent" the sanctions imposed on Russia to isolate it for invading Ukraine while maintaining that the US wouldn't like to see a "rapid" acceleration in India's import of Russian oil and other goods from Russia.
However, US later clarified that Singh had a constructive dialogue on his trip and his remarks shouldn't be seen as a warning.
"He (Singh) went and had a constructive conversation and made clear that while it's the decision of each individual country, including India, to determine whether they're going to import Russian oil, it is only 1 to 2 per cent of their imports, About 10 per cent of their imports is from the United States," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
“What Daleep did make clear to his counterparts during this visit, was that we don't believe it's in India's interest to accelerate or increase imports of Russian energy and other commodities,” Psaki had said.