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‘Deeply Disappointing’: US, Australia Slam India for Proposed Sanctions-Averting Deal with Russia

© SputnikLavrov Jaishankar briefing
Lavrov Jaishankar briefing - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.03.2022
India and Russia are negotiating a payment mechanism to continue bilateral trade despite sanctions imposed by the US and its allies on Russian financial institutions and leaders. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to discuss bilateral ties, including rupee-ruble payments, on Friday with his Indian counterpart in New Delhi.
The US and Australia have expressed concern at a proposal being considered by their Quad partner India to continue sanction-proof trade with Russia.
The US and its allies have imposed severe sanctions on Russia in response to a special military operation in Ukraine to “demilitarise” and “denazify” the eastern European country.
Responding to media queries about the ongoing discussions between India and Russia to avert sanctions, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said that such a plan, if implemented, would be “deeply disappointing”.
“Now is the time to stand on the right side of history, and to stand with the United States and dozens of other countries standing up for freedom, democracy and sovereignty with the Ukrainian people, and not funding and fuelling and aiding President Putin’s war,” she said.
The statement has come days after US President Joe Biden called out India for its “shaky” response to Russian activity in Ukraine.
Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan, who also announced a slew of sanctions against Russia on Thursday, added that “the Quad is incredibly important for the geostrategic environment in the Indo-Pacific”.
“We’ll continue working with India, both within the Quad and on a bilateral nature, to make sure we’re doing everything that we can to ensure that rules-based approach continues,” Tehan said.
Several Indian ministers have called out western hypocrisy as European countries are continuing trade with Russia while pressuring New Delhi to shun Russian oil and gas.
Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar had informed the parliament last week that New Delhi was assessing a slew of Russian proposals to make payments with Moscow.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to discuss all the proposals with Jaishankar on Friday in New Delhi. The plan, currently being discussed, would involve -- Rupee-ruble payments, the supply of spare parts for military equipment, and Investment in the Arctic region, among others.
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