Washington: US President Joe Biden Monday said India’s stance on the West’s reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “somewhat shaky”. Addressing a meeting of US business leaders in Washington, Biden said there had been “a united front throughout NATO and in the Pacific” against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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India, unlike its partners of the Quad group — the US, Japan and Australia — has not deplored the Russian invasion of Ukraine and abstained in three votes at the United Nations. It, however, called for an end to the violence in Ukraine and maintained that the crisis should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy.
“The Quad is, with the possible exception of India being somewhat shaky on some of this, but Japan has been extremely strong — so has Australia — in terms of dealing with Putin’s aggression,” said Biden.
“[When] Putin began amassing troops along the Ukrainian border, I called for an emergency meeting of Nato in Europe to make the case that we had to be united. The one thing I’m confident — knowing Putin fairly well, as well as I guess another leader can know one another — is that he was counting on being able to split Nato,” said Biden.
“He never thought Nato would stay resolved, stay totally thoroughly united, and I can assure you — Nato has never been stronger or more united in its entire history than it is today in large part because of Vladimir Putin,” he added.
Speaking about Quad’s reaction, Biden said: “In the Pacific, the Quad is — with the possible exception of India being somewhat shaky on some of this — but Japan has been extremely strong so is Australia in terms of dealing with Putin’s aggression.”
“We presented a united front throughout Nato and the Pacific,” he said.
Since the beginning of the war, India has expressed deep concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine. India has repeatedly asked all stakeholders to resolve differences through dialogue but has abstained from condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the United Nations Security Council.
Last month, Biden had said that India and the US were trying to resolve their differences on the issue of Russian aggression against Ukraine.
“We presented a united front throughout Nato and the Pacific, and you did a hell of a lot to help us impose sanctions and incur costs, real costs, on the Russian economy. We are seeing now that it mattered. It was really important what you all did. Not every one of you, but I’m not suggesting you all had to. But those of you who did step up, it made a big difference,” he said.
Biden said that Putin was not anticipating the extent or strength of the US-led unity of the international community.
“The more his back is against the wall, the greater severity of the tactics he may employ. We’ve seen it before. He’s run a lot of false flag operations. Whenever he starts talking about something he thinks NATO, Ukraine, or the United States is about to do, it means he’s getting ready to do it. Not a joke. You may recall, I said this to a few of you this morning, that I was able to declassify a whole range of operations that they were about to engage in without sacrificing sources and methods,” he said.
The Nato is a group of 30 North American and European nations. According to Nato, its purpose “is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.”
The Quad — comprising Japan, India, Australia and the United States — is not an alliance but a grouping of countries driven by shared interests and values and interested in strengthening a rules-based order in the strategically-important Indo-Pacific region.