Blinken’s Aide Says US ‘Understands’ Deep Defence Ties Between India, Russia
Blinken’s Aide Says US ‘Understands’ Deep Defence Ties Between India, Russia
Chollet for the second time on Thursday attempted to do some damage control following Ilhan Omar's unannounced visit to PoK

The Biden administration attempted to pacify India once more on Thursday as US secretary of state Antony Blinken’s top advisor Derek Chollet told news agency ANI during an interview that the US understands the deep defence relationship between India and Russia.

Chollet also said that the relationship between India and Russia exists because when the relationship strengthened in the past, the US was unavailable as an ally to India. He reiterated the Biden administration’s commitment to further strengthen the relationship between India and the US.

“Over the last 10 years, the US-India Defence Partnership has changed dramatically. We see great potential and opportunity in their relationships. Anything that two plus two conversations between Secretary Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin had with their counterparts helped further clarify that,” Chollet was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Chollet’s remarks echo what Hillary Clinton said at a Times Network event. The former US secretary of state said that the US understands that there are deep ties between Russia and India but India should ‘look west while also looking east’.

“It’s important to underscore the right that India has, like any other sovereign nation, to independently take decisions that are in its interests,” Hillary said while arguing that India must be a part of the global response to Russian aggression in Kyiv.

Chollet also came to the rescue of the Biden administration in the aftermath of the ‘unofficial visit’ by Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). He said that the Biden administration deemed the visit by Omar as ‘unofficial’ and ‘personal’ after the Union ministry of external affairs condemned Ilhan Omar’s visit to the PoK calling it ‘condemnable’ earlier on Thursday.

Blinken’s top advisor said that it does not want to lure India away from Russia by bettering their offers on defence-related acquisitions and tie-ups. “It’s not so much about luring India away. We see this partnership is growing organically. And this is something both sides seek to achieve in terms of making our relationship across the board but especially our defence relationship, even stronger,” Chollet was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

“The relationship can’t happen overnight. It’s going to take a long time to make this shift. And we want to be there to support our Indian allies,” he further added.

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