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Pentagon Affirms India’s Strategic Partnership Amid Modi’s Visit to Russia

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July 7, 2024 — The Pentagon has reiterated that the United States will continue to view India as a strategic partner, expressing confidence that India will support efforts to achieve an “enduring and just peace for Ukraine.” This statement came as Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his historic visit to Russia.

“India and Russia have had a relationship for a very long time. From a US perspective, India is a strategic partner with whom we continue to engage in full and frank dialogue, including their relationship with Russia,” said Pentagon press secretary Major General Pat Ryder during a news conference in New York on Tuesday.

The Joe Biden administration had already conveyed its concerns during Modi’s two-day visit to Moscow. Ryder noted, “As it relates to the NATO summit this week, of course, like you, the world is focused on that.”

Addressing concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin might use Modi’s visit to portray Russia as less isolated, Ryder emphasized, “President Putin’s war of choice has isolated Russia from the rest of the world, and it has come at great cost.”

Ryder assured that the US will continue to view India as a strategic partner and maintain a robust dialogue with them. He added, “The Prime Minister also met recently with the Ukrainian president and offered his assurances that India will continue to do everything within its means to support a peaceful solution to the war in Ukraine.”

“We trust that India will support efforts to realize an enduring and just peace for Ukraine and will convey to Mr. Putin the importance of adhering to the UN charter and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Ryder said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to grapple with the aftermath of a devastating attack. Rescuers were searching the rubble of Ukraine’s largest children’s hospital in Kyiv, which was hit by a Russian missile, killing at least 42 people. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, addressing the tragedy on the social platform X, criticized Modi’s visit to Russia. Zelensky said, “It is a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world’s largest democracy hug the world’s most bloody criminal in Moscow on such a day.”

The Pentagon’s statement underscores the complexity of international relations as the US continues to balance its strategic partnership with India against the backdrop of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

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