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India will face consequences for it’s support towards Russia, warns US

Ahead of Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s two-day visit to New Delhi, the US deputy national security adviser for economics Daleep Singh has warned India that there will be consequences awaiting countries looking to avoid US sanctions against Russia.

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The US has urged India not to bypass sanctions placed by Western countries on Russia in response to its assault on Ukraine, warning that such countries will face “consequences” and that Moscow will not come to New Delhi’s aid if China breaches its tense border with India again.

“I come here in a spirit of friendship to explain the mechanisms of our sanctions, the importance of joining us, to express a shared resolve and to advance shared interests. And yes, there are consequences to countries that actively attempt to circumvent or backfill the sanctions,” said Daleep Singh, the US Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics, on Thursday.

Read more: Exposing the unreliable alliance between India and US as they take on China

Singh is known as the architect of the United States’ ongoing sanctions against Russia

“We are very keen for all countries, especially our allies and partners, not to create mechanisms that prop up the [Russian] rouble, and those that attempt to undermine the dollar-based financial system,” Singh who is on a visit to New Delhi told journalists between his official meetings.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi.

Cheap oil trade with Russia is important for India

India has purchased at least 13 million barrels of Russian crude oil since the country began its assault on Ukraine in late February, enticed by substantial discounts following Western sanctions on Russian firms. According to figures collated by the Reuters news agency, this compares to around 16 million barrels for the entire previous year.

“Friends don’t set red lines,” Singh said adding however that its partners in Europe and Asia had been urged to cut their reliance on “an unreliable energy supplier”.

Despite increased purchases from the United States in the last decade, Russia has long been India’s largest supplier of defence equipment. Russian supplies, according to defence analysts, are more cost-competitive and crucial for India as it fights a superior Chinese force.

Read more: 2+2 talks: S-400 becomes sticking point between India and US

Why Russia is important to India?

Despite increased purchases from the United States in the last decade, Russia has long been India’s largest supplier of defence equipment. Russian supplies, according to defence analysts, are more cost-competitive and crucial for India as it fights a superior Chinese force.

Singh stated that the US was willing to assist India in diversifying its energy and defence supply. India is the third-largest oil importer and consumer in the world.

Officials from Russia’s and India’s central banks met in New Delhi this week to discuss a payment mechanism and bank routing that would be free of international sanctions.

India also struck a deal with Moscow to buy sophisticated S-400 missile defence systems, military equipment that is sanctioned by American CAATSA.

Read more: Russian strikes on Ukraine’s defence industry could spell disaster for Pakistan and India

The US imposed sanctions on Türkiye over its purchase of the same missile defence systems but Washington is looking to provide a wavier to New Delhi over its procurement to counter China.