Washington [US], February 17 (ANI): US Department of State said that during the Quad meeting in Melbourne there was a discussion over the ongoing situation between Russia and Ukraine and to reinforce rules-based order that applies equally in Indo-Pacific as it does in Europe.
“There was a discussion of Russia and Ukraine in the context of the Quad meeting that we had with our Indian counterparts, our Japanese and Australian allies. There was a strong consensus in that meeting that there needs to be a diplomatic – a peaceful resolution to this. One of the core tenets of the Quad is to reinforce the rules-based international order, and that is a rules-based order that applies equally in the Indo-Pacific as it does in Europe, as it does anywhere else,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement on Wednesday (local time).
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Price was responding to a query regarding Secretary Blinken’s meeting with India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar a few days ago and whether America thinks that India is supporting it in Russia Ukraine issue.
“We know that our Indian partners are committed to that rules-based international order. There are any number of tenets to that order. One of them is that borders cannot be redrawn by force, that large countries cannot bully small countries; that only the people of a particular country can be in a position to choose their foreign policy, their partnerships, their alliances, their associations. Those are principles that apply equally in the Indo-Pacific as they do in Europe,” he said
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While asking about whether Secretary Blinken raised the issue of CAATSA sanctions or India buying S-400 from Russia, State Department spokesperson said: “There was a discussion (during the bilateral meeting in Melbourne) of our broad defense relationship, but I wouldn’t want to characterize it beyond that.”
Russia and India signed a USD 5.43 billion contract for the supply of S-400 in October 2018. The US has repeatedly asked India to withdraw from the deal, indicating that the Russian S-400 systems may trigger Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions.
Last month, India had launched a deployment of the first regiment of S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile defence system, with the first unit to begin operation in April. US State Department, in response, said that Washington is in contact with the Indian authorities on the possibility of imposing sanctions over the air defence systems, as per Sputnik reported. (ANI)
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