CNN tours Ukrainian villages decimated by Russian troops

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at the State Department in Washington, DC on Monday. (Michael McCoy/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

On Monday, alongside India’s foreign and defense ministers, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a pointed message on support for Ukraine.

Blinken noted that the United States would continue to call on nations to support Kyiv, “just as we call on all nations to condemn Moscow’s increasingly brutal actions.”

Speaking at a press conference following the US-India 2+2 ministerial meeting in Washington, Blinken said, “Russia’s war on Ukraine is an attack on the Ukrainian people. It is also an attack on this rules-based order that we both adhere to and defend.

The United States, Blinken said, “will continue to increase our support for the government and people of Ukraine and call on other nations to do the same, just as we call on all nations to condemn Moscow’s increasingly brutal actions. “.

Blinken said Russia’s war “contrasts sharply with the vision that the United States and India share for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” and noted that Moscow’s actions had global consequences.

India has continued to buy Russian oil in the wake of the war in Ukraine and abstained last week in a vote to withdraw Russia from the UN Human Rights Council.

The US Secretary of State also said on Monday that “India must make its own decisions on how it approaches” the Russian war in Ukraine and that the United States believes “it is important that all countries, especially those with influence, pressure Putin to end the war.” war.”

“As a general proposal, we are consulting with all our allies and partners on the consequences of Putin’s war, the atrocities committed against the Ukrainian people,” Blinken said at the press conference after the US ministerial meeting. -Indian 2+2. .

Blinken said it was important that “democracies stand together and speak with one voice in defense of the values ​​we share – and we deeply share the values ​​of freedom, openness, independence, sovereignty, and these values ​​must apply everywhere”.

The senior US diplomat noted that “India’s relationship with Russia has grown over decades, at a time when the United States was unable to be a partner of India”, but “times have changed” and the United States is “able and willing to be a partner of choice with India.

“And I would also like to note that India is providing significant humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine, including medicines which are very much needed and in real demand,” he added.

Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said India was “against conflict” and “for dialogue and diplomacy” and “urgent cessation of violence”.

“We are ready to contribute in any way to these goals,” he said.

Blinken said that “with respect to oil purchases, sanctions, etc., I would just like to note that there are exclusions for energy purchases. Of course, we encourage countries not to buy additional energy from Russia.

“Each country is located differently, has different needs and requirements, but we expect allies and partners not to increase their purchases of Russian energy,” Blinken said.

Regarding oil, Jaishankar said the world should look to Europe, suggesting that Europe buys more Russian oil than India.

Blinken said President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “had a very warm and productive conversation” and “on Russia and Ukraine they talked about ways to lessen the profound impact this is having.” on global food supplies and prices, commodity markets and working together to achieve this.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who also attended the event, spoke about the importance for the United States and India to stay aligned.

“As strategic threats converge, particularly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it is more important than ever that ‘the United States and India’ stand together to uphold our shared values ​​and preserve peace. rules-based international order,” said Austin.

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