NEW DELHI, May 30 – The United States’ new ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, emphasized that the friendship between the two countries is stronger than ever and that disagreements over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will not hinder the bilateral ties. In an interview with news channel CNN-News 18, Garcetti highlighted India’s role in supporting the price cap on Russian oil imposed by the Group of Seven economies, the European Union, and Australia to limit Moscow’s financial resources for the Ukraine war.
“We won’t stop speaking about the unprovoked war of aggression by Russia against Ukraine,” Garcetti stated. He added, “At the same time, where we don’t agree 100 percent of the time, we are not going to stop the momentum in this relationship. We know that we can continue doing things together.”
India has refrained from condemning Russia for the conflict and has increased its trade with Moscow, particularly in importing Russian oil, reaching record levels. Despite criticism from Western leaders, India has asserted that it is safeguarding its own interests by purchasing Russian oil, even below the $60 per barrel price cap.
Garcetti clarified that there was no ban on this oil, but rather an attempt to price-cap it, and India’s participation is contributing to achieving that goal. The United States has been actively strengthening its ties with India, considering it a key partner in countering global challenges and as part of President Joe Biden’s strategy to promote democratic societies in contrast to autocratic ones, notably China.
The upcoming state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States from June 21-24 is expected to further solidify the relationship between the two nations. Garcetti emphasized that the visit would help ensure that the United States is not reliant on any single source for its supply chains.
He also expressed that the defense and strategic relationship between the United States and India will continue to deepen, and Washington will stand by New Delhi in its confrontations with Beijing. Bilateral ties between India and China have significantly deteriorated since a border clash in 2020 resulted in the deaths of 24 soldiers.
“India can count on the friendship of America; they can count on the strategic relationship that we have,” Garcetti affirmed. The United States remains committed to strengthening its partnership with India and standing by the country in addressing regional challenges.