The US on Friday re-emphasised that it was not the right time for “business as usual” with Russia, a day after India and Russia signed 20 bilateral agreements in key areas like oil, gas and defence during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi.
“We’ve seen press reporting on India concluding business, nuclear and defence deals with Russia, but not confirmation of those agreements or specifics of what those agreements would entail. Our view remains that it’s not time for business as usual with Russia,” US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said.
She also said it is not the time for the US to do business with Russia given its action in Ukraine.
Russia has been heavily sanctioned by the US and EU for their support of pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine as well as for Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea earlier this year.
Ahead of Putin’s visit to New Delhi, the US state department last week had voiced concerns over possible bilateral agreements between India and Russia.
“As we’ve said before, now is not the time for business as usual with Russia,” the US state department spokesperson had said.
“We’ve conveyed this, certainly, to our allies and to our partners across the world,” she had said.
In a boost to their “special strategic partnership”, Russia yesterday agreed to build at least 12 nuclear reactors in India besides manufacturing advanced dual-use helicopters as the two countries signed 20 agreements in oil, gas, defence, investment and other key sectors.