A bet on Russia as a long-term, reliable partner is not good: US NSA to India

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Washington, Jul 11 (PTI) Amid concerns over India's ties with Russia, a top US official on Thursday cautioned New Delhi that a "bet on Russia as a long-term, reliable partner is not a good bet" and Moscow would side with Beijing over New Delhi in case of a conflict between the two Asian giants.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan made the remarks while replying to a question on MSNBC about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Moscow where he held extensive talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We've made clear to every country in the world including India that a bet on Russia as a long-term, reliable partner is not a good bet," said Sullivan, who was in India last month for a meeting with his counterpart Ajit Doval.

The top American official had also met Prime Minister Modi during his visit.

"Russia is becoming closer to China. In fact, it's becoming the junior partner to China. And in that way, they would side with China over India any day of the week. And … Prime Minister Modi, of course, has profound concerns about the potential for Chinese aggression against India. Which we have seen over recent years," Sullivan said.

Sullivan, however, acknowledged that countries like India have a historic relationship with Russia and it's not going to change dramatically overnight.

"This is playing the long game. It (US) is making investments in democratic partners and allies around the world including countries like India and we think that that will pay off as we go forward," he added.

His remarks came a day after spokespersons of the Pentagon, the White House and the State Department reacted separately to questions on India's relationship with Russia and Modi's visit to Moscow.

Prime Minister Modi was in Russia for two days for the 22nd India-Russia annual summit that has been watched closely by the West amidst the raging Ukraine conflict.

During his talks with Putin on Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi told the Russian President that a solution to the Ukraine conflict is not possible on the battlefield and peace efforts do not succeed amid bombs and bullets.

India has been stoutly defending its "special and privileged strategic partnership" with Russia and maintained the momentum in the ties notwithstanding the Ukraine conflict.

India has not yet condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and has consistently pitched for a resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy. PTI ZH AKJ ZH ZH