Lazy eyes listen
Efforts by the US and its allies to persuade India to join their campaign against Russia have failed, according to Denis Alipov, Moscow’s ambassador to New Delhi.
“Western pressure on India persists.” The US is openly formulating policies in this area – it’s about ripping it [India] away from Russia,” Alipov told the Izvestia daily in an interview published on Monday.
The Russian diplomat went on to say that “maintaining friendly relations with our country is in India’s national interests.” I trust it will not sacrifice them at the whim of others.”
In the midst of Russia’s dispute with the West over Ukraine, New Delhi has been “pursuing a balanced policy, demonstrating independence in decision-making,” Alipov underlined. “Political pressure tactics aren’t working with it.”
Since the commencement of the Ukrainian war in February 2022, India has been hesitant to give in to US and EU calls to criticize Moscow or join Western sanctions.
Russia accounts for the lion’s share of India’s oil imports.
During a G7 summit meeting with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky last month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that New Delhi would do “everything we can” to help resolve the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.
Meanwhile, India’s economic connections with Russia have grown, with trade transaction reaching $39.8 billion last year, according to New Delhi. Previously, the two countries planned to surpass the $30 billion threshold by 2025.
According to Alipov, Russia has become India’s largest oil supplier, with deliveries increasing twelvefold in 2022 and reaching 24 million tons. “It’s critical that both parties are interested in long-term contracts, not just oil,” he added.
Moscow and New Delhi are “creating and perfecting mechanisms that will allow us to continue cooperating regardless of the unilateral anti-Russian sanctions,” he said.
Switching to national currencies in bilateral trade is one such mechanism, the envoy noted, adding that India “obviously sees risks linked to foreign currencies.”