Over the Ukraine situation, there are cracks in the US and India’s “strategic ties.”
The “strategic relationship” between the U.S. and India is starting to fall apart. This is because the U.S. did not criticize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the U.N., and India bought oil from Russia.
Since the Ukraine war started, there has been a clear conflict between Russia and the west, and things have gotten to the point where other countries have to choose a side: either with the west or with Russia.
A senior research fellow at a think tank wrote an article for Eurasia Review that said India, which has a strategic partnership with the US, did not side with the west even though the US tried to get India to do two things: condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and stop India from buying oil from Russia.
India has taken a neutral stance on Ukraine on the one hand, and it has kept buying oil from Russia on the other. This has annoyed the US and made India look like an unstable partner.
When Russia attacked Ukraine, the US and the rest of the West put Russia under strict sanctions. But it was hard because most European countries get their oil and gas from Russia. At the beginning of March, which was the second week of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Biden said: “We’re going to ban all imports of Russian oil, gas, and energy.” He said this from the White House. “That means Russian oil won’t be allowed at U.S. ports anymore, and the American people will deal Putin’s war machine another powerful blow.”
In a similar way, Washington got the European Union and other European allies to stop buying oil from Russia. This was in addition to measures that were meant to hurt the economy of Russia. The European Union suggested a ban on Russian oil and gas at the beginning of May.
Also, in early March, the US brought a proposal to the UN General Assembly to put pressure on Russia. Even though the motion was passed, some countries chose not to vote on it. One of the countries that didn’t vote was India.
But India is a vital partner of the US, and the US asked India to condemn Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan. India didn’t do that.
In the same way, the US has warned India many times about buying oil from Russia, but India has kept buying oil from Russia. India buys 600,000 barrels of oil from Russia every day, which brings in a lot of money for the Russian government. The top foreign energy adviser for the Biden administration told India not to buy more cheap oil from Russia because it could cause problems. India has kept buying oil from Russia, which is making people in the west angry. Even with sanctions and less oil and gas going to Europe, Russia has kept exporting the same amount of oil and gas. In a recent study, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) found that Russia has made $100 billion from oil and gas exports in the past 100 days. This has shocked the west, since Russia managed to export its oil and gas despite sanctions.
Even though India is a vital ally of the US, it got a lot out of Russia offering its oil at a lower price. In March, India bought 3 million barrels of oil from Russia. In April, that number went up to 7.2 million barrels. But in May, it hit 24 million barrels, which worries the west because India is sending a lot of money to Russia to help pay for its war in Ukraine. In the next few months, it looks like India will buy even more oil from Russia. So, we can say that India didn’t care about the interests of its key partner, the US, when it dealt with the US. In the same way, the way India handles the war in Ukraine shows that it is not a trusted partner of the US.