New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman spoke to India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh V. Shringla and discussed Russia’s military build-up on Ukraine’s borders along with regional issues and Covid pandemic.
Within a week, it’s the second time that the US talked with India about the Russia’s presence at Ukraine borders.
“The US Deputy Secretary and the India’s Foreign Secretary agreed to remain closely coordinated on shared goals and priorities and reiterated the importance of a strong US-India partnership to mitigate the Covid-19 Omicron variant’s rapid advance,” Ned Price, spokesperson of the US’s State Department, said on Wednesday.
Earlier, on January 14, the US Charge’ d’ Affaires Patricia Lacina also called on Shringla and discussed India-US relationship with the regional issues of mutual interest.
Interestingly at the time when India and US were holding talks, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital and meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to reaffirm the “unwavering” US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of ongoing Russian military buildup.
After the meeting, Blinken met Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba as part of ongoing efforts to encourage Russia to choose the path of diplomacy and dialogue.
According to the State Department Blinken met Zelenskyy in Kiev as part of US’ “close and continued coordination” with Ukraine following the US-Russia Strategic Stability Dialogue in Geneva, the NATO-Russia Council meeting in Brussels, and the OSCE Permanent Council meeting in Vienna.
Blinken during the meeting has emphasised that if Russia chooses the path of “further aggression” against Ukraine, the US, together with its allies and partners, will impose crippling costs on Russia’s economy, reinforce NATO’s presence in frontline allied states, and increase defensive assistance to Ukraine.