- PM Modi and Biden to hold virtual meet ahead of India-US 2+2 dialogues.
- Ending the pandemic, battling the climate crisis and strengthening the bilateral ties between both nations are anticipated to be on the agenda of the discussion.
- Ukraine crisis and the step forward is also likely to be a part of the virtual conference.
The Ministry of External Affairs, on Sunday, confirmed that Prime Minister Modi will be holding a virtual meeting with US President Joe Biden prior to the 2+2 dialogues to bolster the bilateral Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership. Alongside reviewing the ongoing bilateral cooperation and global concerns of mutual interest, the two sides will discuss the recent developments in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific region.
White House spokesperson communicated that Biden will consistently hold close consultations on the repercussions of Russia’s debilitating war against Ukraine and alleviate its destabilising impact on the global food supply and commodity markets.
The virtual interaction will be held ahead of the fourth India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue which will be spearheaded by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of External Affairs, S Jaishankar on the Indian side. Representing the US counterparts will be Secretary of Defence, Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State, Antony J Blinken. It is anticipated that the situation in Ukraine might come up during the conversation. Recently, US Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics Daleep Singh who is the key architect of Russian sanctions recently piqued the masses by forewarning India of its Russian oil imports.
Later, it was clarified by the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki that Daleep had a constructive conversation and clarified to his counterparts that it might not be fruitful for India to accelerate imports of Russian commodities. Additionally, he also said that every nation, including India, is entitled to its import choices. India imports about 1-2% of Russian oil and 10% from the United States.
India had recently refrained from participating in the resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council despite condemning the Bucha killings. This was viewed as Delhi signalling Russia in contempt of its actions against Ukraine. However, considering its strategic interests with Russia (vital defence supplies), India maintained that it will abstain from completely aligning with the US and the West. Numerous high-level entities from Washington DC have visited India in the recent weeks, including US Deputy NSA on International Economics Daleep Singh and Victoria Nuland, US under Secretary for Political Affairs.
Biden has last spoken to PM Modi along with other Quad leaders in March. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov in his recent visit to India had proposed alternate payment through national currencies to dodge the artificial impediment created by the illegal unilateral sanctions of the West.
Modi-Biden’s virtual meeting will intend to deepen the ties between the governments, economies and the people, said Jen Psaki. Issues to be catered to will range from battling the pandemic to countering the climate crisis and heightening a global economy to endorsing a rule-based international order system for boosting security, democracy and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. Development of an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and administering high-quality infrastructure will also constitute part of the conversation between the two leaders.