US NSA Deputy for International Economy and G20 Daleep Singh visit India

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US NSA deputy warns against building Rupee-Ruble payment mechanism, buying more oil from Russia

US NSA deputy warns against building Rupee-Ruble payment mechanism, buying more oil from Russia

There will be ‘consequences’ for any country, including India, that conducts local currency transactions through Russia’s central bank or builds a payment mechanism that overturns or circumvents US sanctions on Russia, the adviser said US National Security Assistant for International Economics, Daleep Singh, in New Delhi. Thursday, hours before Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov landed in Delhi. In a first for the US administration, Mr Singh has also publicly stated that India should not expect Russia, as China’s ‘junior partner’, to help India if it helps. are more incursions along the Line of Actual Control.

“I come here in a spirit of friendship to explain the mechanisms of our sanctions, the importance of joining us, to express a common will and to advance common interests. And yes, there are consequences for countries that actively try to circumvent or strengthen sanctions,” Singh told reporters, between his official meetings.

“We are very keen that all countries, especially our allies and partners, do not create mechanisms that support the [Russian] Ruble, and those who try to undermine the dollar-based financial system,” he added, in response to a question from The Hindu. This week, officials from the Bank of Russia, the country’s central bank, met with officials from the Reserve Bank of India to discuss alternative payment mechanisms and routing through sanction-immune banks. foreign affairs, and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar told Parliament that an inter-ministerial group headed by the Ministry of Finance has been tasked with resolving import and export payment issues with Russia caused by penalties.

When asked how India’s ties with Russia might affect its partnership with the United States in the Indo-Pacific quad, Mr Singh said there was a “shared recognition in the quad that China is a strategic threat to a free, open and secure Indo-Pacific.” .”

“Russia is going to be the junior partner in this relationship with China. And the more influence China gains over Russia, the less favorable it is for India, I don’t think anyone would believe that if China breached the line of control again, Russia would rush to the defense of India. India. He added.

Mr Singh declined to comment on what ‘consequences’ he was referring to and whether the US would consider India’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile system, which used an alternative payment mechanism “Rupee-Ruble” so far as eligible for the new sanctions as well as previous sanctions under the CAATSA Act, adding that he would prefer to keep those discussions with the government “private.”

Although Mr Singh’s message was more clearly worded, his remarks mirrored comments by European Union and German officials in Delhi this week, who said India should not take “advantage”. economy” of Western sanctions, nor seek to dilute them during the war. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss also arrived in India on Thursday with a similar message.

The British High Commission said her visit was “part of a wider diplomatic push in the wake of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine”, and would underline “the importance for democracies to work harder together to deter aggressors, reduce vulnerability to coercion, and enhance global security.”

In his comment, Singh said the United States “stands ready” to help India diversify its energy and defense material needs, should it choose to reduce its “dependency” on India. of Russia, and that India’s supply of Russian oil does not currently violate US policy. punishments.

“What we would not like to see is a rapid acceleration of India’s imports from Russia in terms of energy or any other export that is currently banned by us or other aspects of the regime. international sanctions,” he added, however. According to the Reuters news agency, Indian oil refiners have bought more than 13 million barrels of Russian oil since the start of the war in Ukraine on February 24, a sharp increase from last year, when the India bought 16 million barrels of Russian oil in 2021.

Singh, who is the chief Russia sanctions strategist in the Biden administration, said he explained the US’ “five-channel” approach to dealing with Russia over its war in Ukraine, during what he called an “honest dialogue” with government officials. Over two days in Delhi, Singh met with his counterpart NSA MP Vikram Misri, Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla, and officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry finances. Channels include a “financial shock” to Russia’s biggest banks and its central bank, cutting off technology transfers to Russia, “ejecting Russia from the international world order”, including revoking MFN status and ending borrowing privileges from the IMF and the world. Bank, sanctioning wealthy individuals close to the Putin government and downgrading Russia’s status as a top energy supplier.

“What we’re doing is pushing Russia decades back, I think it’s back to the USSR (Soviet Union), in terms of technological sophistication, which reduces Putin’s ability to exert influence and wielding power on the world stage.” Mr Singh said, adding that his talks in Delhi were “very similar to the talks we had with our close friends and partners in Europe and Asia.”

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